Duration: 01:22:59; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 22.868; Saturation: 0.158; Lightness: 0.257; Volume: 0.106; Cuts per Minute: 1.024
Summary: To "not wait for the archive" is to enter the river of time sideways, a bit unnanounced, much like the digital itself did, not so long ago. (1)
Afghan Films, the national film institute of Afghanistan, opened in 1968.
The negative archive of Afghan Films is intact, protected and persevered by a long-term staff who also produced and screened these films, through vagaries of political upheaval. To watch these reels is to see an often violently changing ideological landscape against the continuous effort and precariousness of making films, under such conditions. These images travelling now from film to pixels showed us rich, surprising and joyful things, begging a broader audience.
To introduce these dimensions into the film database, the digitising of reels was accompanied by a process of talking to people both in Afghan Film and beyond.
Here, "Members of Afghan Film" - a residue from the Soviet days, when you had to be registered with Afghan Film in order to work for, what was then only state funded cinema- were invited to share their experiences of working on the films. This included mainly actors and some film technicians.
The archive database was projected in the preview theatre at Afghan FIlms.
The 90 or so films digitised during the workshop range from the 1920's to the 1990's, and cut across many genres including newsreel, documentary and fiction features. Several of the current Afghan Films staff have worked here since the 1970's and have worked on these films as directors, cameramen or actors. Our conversations with them translated into a rich set of annotations for the digital film material.
The workshop ended with an outdoor screening of excerpts from the archive in Shar-e-Nau Park, Kabul.