In 2016 the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights awarded the Marek Nowicki Prize to Nima Sarvestani.
There is no other documentary filmmaker whose films manage to make it into WATCH DOCS program on such a regular basis. Since 2010, every film Sarvestani has made has appeared at WATCH DOCS in December. The films by the Marek Nowicki Prize winner appear as if they were made specifically with this festival in mind.
His just completed trilogy devoted to Afghan women—I Was Worth 50 Sheep, No Burqas Behind Bars, and his latest work, Prison Sisters—Sarvestani's films present a painfully honest picture of a society in which women are able to feel free only in prison. Sarvestani's great sense of the cultures he describes, his tenacity in pursuing often-concealed truths, and his enormous narrative talent bear fruit in his unique kind of documentary action films with stories that, while they really are stranger than fiction, are in fact painfully true.
PRISON SISTERS reunites us with two of the most vibrant women from the wonderful film No Burqas Behind Bars (2012), about women sentenced for adultery in Afghanistan. This time, the filmaker Nima Sarvestani takes us through the journey of these women after they have been released from prison. As women and former inmates in Afghanistan, Sara and Najibeh lack any right to exist. Sara’s uncle has planned to kill her an attempt to save his honor in their small village. Fearing for her life Sara escapes to Sweden for asylum, but Najibeh stays behind. While Sara struggles to understand her newly found freedom, her prison-mate Najibeh disappears and soon rhumor has it that she was stoned to death. Sara and the filmmaker want to find out the truth, only to encounter a maze of half- truths on the streets of Afghanistan. We follow the two main characters, revealing what happened to them - each with an exceptional fate depicting the horrific reality for women in Afghanistan.
DIRECTOR: Nima Sarvestani
PRODUCER: Maryam Ebrahimi
SCRIPTWRITER: Nima Sarvestani
Nima Sarvestani received a Golden Nymph Award in the Current Affairs category at the 56th Monte Carlo TV Festival for his film Those Who Said No.
Nima Sarvestani Danny Glover
See the announcement and Nima's acceptance speech here.
Najibeh, one of the main characters in our film 'Prison Sisters'
Filmmaker Nima Sarvestani who is currently editing the documentary 'Prison Sisters' will give a seminar on his work in progress. Together with Klara Grunning from SFI and Axel Arnö from SVT he will discuss the challenges of making a sequel and the relation between filmmaker and protagonists.
This seminar is part of a whole day of work in progress discussions at TEMPO documentary film festival in Stockholm on 9 March.
More info here
The FIFDHP, the International Human Rights Film Festival, has chosen Those Who Said No to be in the official selection of the festival in April.
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