Afghanistan Night Stories

Short synopsis:
A story of war, love, life and death, it is an unprecedented look at these elite fighters, and the hopes and dreams they have rarely spoken of until now.

A group of Afghan Commodes fighting Taliban for a better Afghanistan. Nights of high tension in the battle against an invisible enemy. Four soldiers, who seal their fate to one another, ready for death at any time. Unexpected accounts of longing and of love from steal formed fighters, in the midst of an unforgivable war. And finally death awaiting the bravest of the group. An unprecedented journey in the private heart of the Afghan Army, never told before.

  • Alka Sadat
  • Foad Dehqanpour
  • Alka Sadat
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Afghanistan Night Stories
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    60 hours
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • IDFA
    November 19, 2015
    international Premiere
  • The 49th Annual Worldfest-Houston
    American Samoa
    April 16, 2016
    Remi Special Jury Awards
Director Biography - Alka Sadat

Alka Sadat is an award-winning Afghan documentary filmmaker whose films explore social issues and injustices in her nativecountry, most notably the challenges faced by women and children. Sadat cofounded the Roya Film House (RFH), an independent Afghan film company with a focus on human rights, and coordinated the first Afghanistan International Women’s Film Festival.

Born in Herat, Afghanistan, in 1988, Sadat was a young child when the Taliban came to power. Her mother, not wanting her and her sisters to go uneducated, broke the law by teaching them at home. When the Taliban regime was abolished, Sadat started working with her sister Roya Sadat making films, establishing the Roya Film House (RFH) in 2003. She also worked as the dress designer on the film Three Dots.

Sadat’s first documentary film, First Number, was awarded the Afghan Peace Prize. She followed that with another short film, We Are Post-modernist, which she wrote, directed and shot. The film received the Best Camera Work award at the Kabul Film Festival.

Following her 2006 documentary, Ma By For You, Sadat was invited to participate in international film festivals. Her next documentary, 1,2,3?, was named Best Film at the International Trevignano Film Festival in Italy, the Bahrain Human Rights International Film Festival, and the International Almaty Film Festival in Kazakhstan.

Half Value Life, Sadat’s 2008-2009 look at how women were faring in Afghanistan, received six festival awards: Best Director, Kabul International Film Festival (2008); International Young Talent Competition — Generation DOK, Afghanistan Film Festival (2008); Best Film, Egypt Film Festival (2008); Best Film, Bilder vom Film festival, Germany (2009); Public Liberties & Human Rights Award, Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival (2011); and First Place, Documentaries, Women’s Voices Now Film Festival, Los Angeles (2011).

Working with the Pangea Foundation from 2008 to 2009, Sadat made a documentary film titled A Woman Sings in the Desert, for which she received the Best Director award at the Kabul Film Festival. While studying filmmaking in Italy in 2009, she made a film in Treviso about the Iranian singer Mohsen Namjoo. She started working for Colors magazine (based in Italy) in 2010 and made a short documentary, Kabul Sea. In the same year, she filmed Beginning of Eagle 4 for Tolo TV, Afghanistan’s most popular television station. In 2011, Sadat’s long-form documentary, After 35 Years, captured the struggles due to the lack of family law in the Afghan judicial system. The following year, Sadat worked with Afghan musician and filmmaker Rafi Behroozian on a short documentary, Eyewitness.

From 2012 to 2013, Sadat made three films for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s “Afghanistan: Ten Years On” documentary series, which explored efforts by UN agencies and the international community to help Afghanistan rebuild the country and its institutions: The Elimination of Violence Against Women; The Elimination of Violence Against Children; and The Elimination of Violence Against Police. she was jury member to Asiatica Filmmediale in Italy and jury member to another Afghan Contemporary Art Prize in Afghanistan 2013.

From 2013 to 2014 she start shooting of Afghanistan Night Stories and Afghanistan Night Stories Selected for the IBF Project Factory. She was jury member to Afghanistan Student Film Festival. Participate to meeting senior officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India as well as some International experts, in the margin of a UNODC Regional workshop on “Promoting and Strengthening International Cooperation relating to the Protection and Support of Victims of Acts of Terrorism”, held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2014.
Following 2014 she participate to South Asia Summit on Youth and Human Rights Conference in Colombo and she directed After Years of Struggle and For Live documentary films

In 2015 elite Afghan Army commandos, Afghanistan Night Stories was done.
She was jury member to London Feminist Film Festival in UK, and jury member to 60 Second Film Festival in Afghanistan. Sadat serves as vice president of Roya Film House since 2013,
Coordinator of Afghanistan International Women Film Festival-Heart since 2013.
Afghanistan Night Stories wins a prestigious GOLD REMI award at the from 49th Annual Worldfest-Houston 2016 in USA.

2016: Best feature documentary film at The Afghan International Film Festival in Stockholm
2016: GOLD REMI award at the from 49th Annual Worldfest-Houston 2016 in USA, (Afghanistan Night Stories)

2011: Public Liberties & Human Rights Award, Aljazeera
2011: International Documentary Film Festival (Half Value Life)
2011: First Place, Documentaries, Women’s Voices Now Film 2011: Festival, Los Angeles (Half Value Life)
2011: Human Rights Film Festival in Kabul (Half Value Life)

2009: Best Film, Bilder vom Film Festival, Germany (Half Value Life)
2009: Best Film, Egypt Film Festival (Half Value Life)
2009: Best Director, Kabul Film Festival (A Woman Sings in the Desert)

2008: Best Director, Kabul International Film Festival (Half Value Life)
2008: International Young Talent Competition — Generation DOK,
2008: Afghanistan Film Festival (Half Value Life)
2008: Best Film, Bahrain Human Rights International Film Festival (1,2,3?)

2007: Best Film, International Trevignano Film Festival, Italy

2006: Peace Prize, Afghan Civil Society Organisations (First Number)
2007: Best Film, International Almaty Film Festival, Kazakhstan (1,2,3?)
2006: Best Camera Work, Kodakan Khiban Film Festival (We Are Post-modernist)

2013: Afghan Contemporary Art Prize
2013: Asiatica Filmmediale
2015: London Feminist Film Festival
2015: 60 Second Film Festival

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My research for 'Afghanistan nights' begins with a warning from my friends and colleagues. „You can't make this film“, they told me, when I first spoke to them about the idea to shoot a documentary about a group of Afghan Commodes engaged in the military fight against the Taliban. „You can't because you are a girl. They won't allow you“, they said. But I started to film, against all odds and trying control my own fear.What motivated me was the answer to the question what it takes to fight the Taliban and what persons are doing this kind of job. Before 'Afghanistan Nights'Stories I had exclusively worked on films about women in the Afghan society, females as hidden heroes in our society.As war goes on, I am trying to understand the other face of the medal: who are the ones who sacrifice their lives for us to live in peace? It was an unusual and challenging way to get accepted by a group of male Commodes , who did not know anything about film and seemed to reject me at first. It was only after long weeks/months of intense talks and observations, that I could finally persuade to follow these men as a woman with my team. Just the way to their camp contained a series of dangers. But as my protagonits opened up and gave into the exotism of the situation, a authentic confidence grow between us. So that with the time they would accept me, begin to confess their hopes and dreams, and their love stories to me. A love story told in a situation of war is like a secret you give insight to. Any man would probably not have gotten the answer I got I was hoping that, at some point, the mood changed and
they would melt up and tell me their story. It finally happened, in a unique coincidence. Following four special forces also confronted me with death as never before in my life.One of the protagonists died in a firefight with insurgents as we were shooting the film.The relation with the group got more intense and more emotional.A driving force for me was to show to the world and to my own people a film that not only deals with foreign forces coming to Afghanistan. After 2014, it is the Afghan forces that wage the war against the Taliban above all. But nobody so far has discovered the story behind their lives.I wanted to do the obvious, the unique thing.It turned out to be a very rewarding experience. I overcame my own prejudices. I became friends with soldiers I had wrong perceiptions about in the beginning. It also made me stronger as a woman, after all of my previous films treated about women's condition and women's human rights.With me, a dedicated team has shot this first film of an Afghan female director and its personal view on this war.
women's human rights.With me, a dedicated team has shot this first film of an Afghan female director and its personal view on this war.