From 1996 to 2001, photography was completely banned in Afghanistan by the Taliban regime. When the US invaded after 9/11, Afghans saw a Taliban government topple -- and with it, the suppression of media as well. Since then, there's been massive investment in building the country's local media.
In 2012, I joined filmmaker Alexandria Bombach to travel to Afghanistan and chase this story through personal, intimate stories of photojournalists building the country's first free press in history.
Alexandria and I found four amazing characters with stories worthy of a feature-length documentary... only to promptly run out of money needed to keep filming with them beyond a week. We returned to the US, raised more funds on Kickstarter in summer 2013, and in fall 2013 filmed our first feature-length documentary on these photographers.
We spent 6 weeks following our characters through the trails and triumphs of local media -- from covering daily life of women strolling through vibrant markets, to hanging out in press pools for Afghanistan's first boxing match, to frantically covering breaking news at the aftermath of suicide bombings. We have an incredible story to tell that will connect a global audience to professional Afghan photojournalists, while also painting a broader picture of what it's like to build free press from the ground up.
The film will be feature-length (90 minutes) and we're planning to submit to festivals and seek distribution support once we have a cut!
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (April 2014)