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Thursday, 3 January, 2002, 12:20 GMT
Afghan filmmakers start rolling
Fans rush to first movie screening since the end of the Taleban
Fans rushed to first movie screening since the Taleban's fall
Afghan filmmakers are shooting their first movie in 10 years following the fall of the Taleban regime.

The film, The Speculator, is being specially made for screening on Afghan television because the station is short of material.

It is being directed by Sayed Faruk Haybat and should be finished by the end of January.

The Taleban banned films five years ago, and the screening of any images was treated as idolatrous.

But cinemas were opened last November after the regime was ousted by the Northern Alliance - although women were not allowed inside.


I'm hopeful things will change for the better

Hindi filmmaker Feroz Khan
The last Afghan film to be made was The Summit, in 1992, and it dealt with the holy war waged by mujahedin fighters.

The new movie brings together many veterans of Afghan cinema, including Mohamed Akram Khurami, who has landed a starring role.

He said he cannot wait to get in front of the cameras again, adding: "I want to work and I don't mind what role I'm given."

War

The 78-year-old was one of the most popular "villains" in Afghan cinema in the 1970s.

He said: "They always gave me the roles of bad guys, or commanders, police - people like that."

Director Habyat made eight anti-drugs films between 1984 and 1995.

While making one of them during the 1992-96 civil war, a rocket landed on the set and killed eight people.

The new production follows news that Indian producers are planning to film in the country.

'Hopeful'

Hindi actor and producer Feroz Khan has sought permission from authorities to make a film about an Afghan tycoon coming to terms with the loss of his family following the Russian invasion.

He said: "I'm hopeful things will change for the better.

"I love Afghanistan and its mountains. I have seen and stayed at Kunduz, Mazar-e-Sharif and Bamiyan while shooting for an earlier film. I would like to go back there."

Bollywood films had long been popular in Afghan cinemas before being banned by the Taleban.

Action film Elaan was among the first films to be screened in Kabul's Bakhtar cinema shortly after Northern Alliance forces assumed control of the Afghan capital.

The first Afghan movie ever made was a co-production with Pakistan entitled Love and Friendship.

It took another 18 years before the next film was made but then a host of movies were produced until the civil war and the Taleban's subsequent arrival in Kabul in 1996.

See also:

02 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Afghan TV appeals for funds
28 Dec 01 | Film
Bollywood plans Afghan movie
19 Nov 01 | South Asia
Kabul goes film crazy
05 Oct 01 | South Asia
Bollywood suffers from US attacks
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
India's censors hire film sleuths
01 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Bollywood star tops the poll
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