After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, Afghan Pop Idol is taking the nation by storm. But this is more than just a TV show... in Afghanistan, you risk your life to sing.
After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, pop Idol has come to Afghanistan. Millions are watching the TV series Afghan Star and voting for their favourite singers by mobile phone. For many, this is their first encounter with democracy. This timely film follows the dramatic stories of four contestants as they risk all to become the nation's favourite singer. But will they attain the freedom they hope for in this vulnerable and traditional nation?
Afghan Star is Havana Marking’s first feature documentary, shot over 4 months in Kabul. She has produced TV docs (both factual entertainment and one-off polemics) for over 10 years now, although directing is relatively new to her. Before Afghan Star she directed The Crippendales (2007), a 30min film about the first troupe of disabled strippers winning the Channel 4@Sheffield scheme for New Talent. In 2005 she made The Great Relativity Show, a series of animated shorts (3MW) that explained the Theory of Relativity. These won a Pirelli Science award. While she was producing, she worked on some of the most successful UK formats and films: The F Word, Michael Palin: Himalaya, River Cottage, No Going Back, War On Terra – What Would Jesus Drive?