Made by Afghan director Sahra Karimi and Iranian producer Katayoun Shahabi, the 86-minute film is a narrative of three women’s lives from different social backgrounds that are facing a big challenge in their lives living in Kabul.
Hava, a traditional pregnant woman whom no one cares about, is living with her father and mother-in-law. Her only joy is talking to the baby in her belly.
Maryam, an educated TV news reporter, is about to get a divorce from her unfaithful husband, but finds out she is pregnant.
Ayesha, an 18-year-old girl accepts to marry her cousin because she is pregnant by her boyfriend who disappears after hearing the news.
Each of them has to solve her problem by herself for the first time.
‘Hava, Maryam, Ayesha’ has gone on screen at several global events, including the 26th Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in France and the 2020 Bengaluru International Film Festival in India.
The film which represented Afghanistan at the 2020 Academy Awards (commonly known as the Oscars) ceremony, grabbed Best Actress award at the 18th Dhaka International Film Festival in Bangladesh and the 2019 Asian World Film Festival in the US.
Arezou Ariapour, Fereshta Afshar, and Hasiba Ebrahimi play the main roles of the flick.
“As a female filmmaker from Afghanistan, I promised myself to be the storyteller of my fellow countrywomen who seek to change their lives in a traditional society. By travelling to many Afghan cities and villages, I found real stories from inside my country about women such as Hava, Maryam, and Ayesha. They are trying not to give in to the imposed patriarchal society. Their decision is a form of resistance to their predetermined life. My goal is to narrate the lives of the women who haven’t had a voice for many years, and they are now ready to change their fate,” Karimi said.
Karimi, the Afghan female director of the flick, took her first steps as an artist in Iran with filmmakers’ works such as Hamid Jebeli’s ‘White Dream’. She then moved abroad to study cinema and filmmaking.
The IFFZ aims to fill the cultural gap between Iranians and Swiss as well as the many foreigners living in Switzerland.
The event defines itself as “A Platform for presenting the Iranian culture and tradition and for building a bridge between different cultures by the means of the universal language of art and especially the 7th art, cinema”.
This edition of the festival will be held online on May 28-June 03, 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.