Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 10, 2010.

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A documentary film about Afghan American artist Ariana Delawari; her travels to Afghanistan after 9/11, her family and the making of her album there.

Note Video Credits:
"Crazy for You" by Madonna, covered by Ariana Delawari (Manimal Vinyl Records). "A Day in the Life" by The Beatles. Other songs from Ariana's album "Lion of Panjshir" (David Lynch Music Company). Photo of Ariana with "Be Gone Taliban" sign taken by photographer Shelby Duncan. Footage shot by Ariana and Emily Lynch. Vintage photos by unknown. Recent photos of Afghanistan by Ariana. Kickstarter video edited by Farah X.

WE ARE FUNDED!!!! HOORAY!!!
Update #2 monday, september 20th
Dear beautiful friends!

As of about an hour ago, we are funded!!! We are totally blown away and tremendously grateful for all of your support. This is such an incredible blessing. The beauty of kickstarter is this process of spreading the word together and feeling the support of so many people. It really adds to the spirit of making art, and has already infused our project with so much light and love. Thank you again to everyone and thank you kickstarter!

This kickstarter page was created solely for the funding to pay our editor for her work. So the $10,000 will be entirely going to our editor. We have 19 days left!!!! So any additional funds we receive at this point will go toward:

hard drives
festival fees
post production sound
music licensing
film score (composer, recording, etc)
stock footage
translation
color timing
travel expenses
etc etc etc!!!!

THANK YOU!!!! LOVELOVELOVE

Ariana, Emily, Yasmine, Rachel, and Farah

Dear Friends,

I made my first trip to Afghanistan in 2002. It was just a few months after I graduated from film school. As the plane descended, I looked out at the mountains and knew I had found my muse. I traveled with two cameras; a still camera and a digital video camera. Though everyone encouraged me to make a documentary, I was finally seeing the land of my ancestry, and I really just wanted to experience the country without an agenda. I was so taken by the beauty of the people everywhere; in villages, schools, refugee camps. It was a magical time. A moment in history. I truly believed that Afghanistan would finally be free.

I continued to travel to Afghanistan over the next few years. It seemed like things were really progressing. Then on one of my trips, in December of 2005, I began to feel a shift. I knew of the increase in suicide bombings and attacks, but the shift was penetrating the hearts and spirits of the Afghan people. The hope I had seen in the eyes of so many, now felt heavy, weighted with a silent plea to not be forgotten again.

I left Afghanistan with a heavy heart. I came back to Los Angeles knowing this was a different moment. Not the moment I had first experienced, filled with hope and faith. This was something darker. One where apathy could leave the door open for the hell that had almost been left behind. Over the next year, I watched as things got worse and worse.

One day, in February of 2007, my mother called; I knew from the tone in her voice how bad it had become. I hung up the phone and called my band mate Max. I said, “I think we should record our album in Afghanistan.” He agreed. My friend Emily asked if she could come and document the making of the album. Four months later, on June 1, 2007, we were on a plane headed to Kabul. We set up a recording studio in my parents home. We laid Afghan rugs down on the floor and nailed them up onto the walls. We collaborated with three Afghan Ustads or master musicians. The eldest was 88 years old and the last living master of his instrument. They each told us stories of how the Taliban banned music and art, and how they hid their instruments to save them from being destroyed. When we returned, filmmaker David Lynch expressed his desire to be part of the project. He produced one of the songs on the album, mixed all of the songs, and released the album on his record label.

As we started watching tapes of the recording process, I showed Emily some of the footage from my earlier trips to Afghanistan. She watched it all and said, “This story is bigger than the making of the album. It’s the story of Afghanistan and your family.” So, in April of 2009, we took another trip to Kabul for additional interviews and to document more of my parents.

As each day passes, the stories we hear from Afghanistan become more and more bleak. There is a sentiment among many to get out of Afghanistan. After nine years, people have become weary. Though I understand the fears and frustration, I also understand the fate of the Afghan people and of the world, if we were to abandon Afghanistan now. I understand that the entire region hinges on Afghanistan’s stability. And it’s from this understanding, after three decades of living through Afghanistan’s history, that I know just how urgent it is that I tell this story now.

To date, we have raised and covered all of the funds needed for equipment and travel. We have hundreds of photographs, about 200 hours of footage, and the music we recorded in the film for my album, "Lion of Panjshir".

We are reaching out to you to raise $10,000 for our editor and hard drive costs.

Thank you so much for your support.

When Emily and I were at the Afghan Consulate getting our visas before our last trip to Afghanistan, a young Afghan man working at the Consulate was very excited to hear about the film. He said to us, “You know, films can create peace and bridge nations.” Our intention and hope is to do this. Thank you for being part of it.

Sincerely,

Ariana Delawari

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director: Ariana Delawari

ARIANA DELAWARI is a multimedia artist. She is a musician, filmmaker, photographer, and actress. She graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts with a B.A. in Film Production. She has won awards for her photography of Afghanistan in both the International Photography Awards and the Korean New York Times. Her music has received international acclaim and has been featured in such publications as SPIN, Pitchfork, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, NPR, LA Weekly, BMI World, IFP, The Independent, and Marie Claire Italia. You can read more about her personal story, her album "Lion of Panjshir", and what critics have to say about the album on her website: www.arianadelawari.com

Editor: Farah X

FARAH X has been working in the music video industry for over 10 years. Having begun her career in editing while still in USC Film School, her long list of clients includes being a personal editor for such music industry icons as Prince and Mariah Carey.
Her directorial talents led Billboard Magazine to name her one of the top ten up and coming music video directors. She has directed everything from music videos to live concerts and documentaries. Her award-winning videos have screened in numerous festivals across the country. We are very excited about having Farah on board; the combination of her knowledge of the region and her experience in both music videos and film make her the perfect match for this project.

Producers: Emily Lynch and Yasmine Delawari Johnson

EMILY LYNCH's involvement with this project began with her passion for Ariana Delawari's music. As she learned more about Ariana's family and her plans to record an album in Afghanistan, she immersed herself in the Delawari family history, traveling twice to Afghanistan. On both trips, she came armed with a camera and filmed everything from the country's incredible landscapes to interviews with the film's subjects. Emily is an active philanthropist, hosting monthly gatherings with women for various charities.

YASMINE DELAWARI JOHNSON is an Afghan American actor and producer. She earned her Political Science degree at UCLA and went to New York's Circle in the Square Drama School. Yasmine is Ariana’s sister and has lived the story of this film, including their 2004 trip to Afghanistan. While at UCLA, Yasmine worked for the head of feature film publicity at Paramount Studios and following drama school, she worked with Broadway producer Anita Waxman on a number of Broadway productions including Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, the Roundabout Theatre revival of Cabaret and New York Public Theater's The Wild Party. Yasmine is an active philanthropist and political activist, most recently co-hosting an event on Afghanistan's current situation with the Foreign Policy Roundtable, an industry centric political salon.

Story Producer: Rachel Fleischer

RACHEL FLEISCHER is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and screenwriter. Fleischer earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Film at the USC School of Cinema. Shortly after graduating, she bought a camera and began documenting the lives of the homeless in her native city. Her four year emotional and extraordinary journey, became the award winning film, “Without a Home”, her first feature. Fleischer is also a singer/songwriter, actress, poet, and avid photographer. Rachel also went to USC's School of Film/Television with Ariana and Farah. Ariana and Rachel were together on 9/11, watching the day's horrific events unfold. They have supported each other as they've documented the voiceless, whether with Los Angeles' homeless or Afghanistan's refugees. They are thrilled to combine their gathered experience while working on this film. Check out a trailer for Rachel's film "Without a Home" here: http://vimeo.com/4398067

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Funding period

- (30 days)