What is this film about?
The documentary Cinema Pameer centers around a cinema in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan. A place for escape, inspiration and refuge in a city still trying to find its footing after decades of war, poverty and religious fundamentalism. The film will not only tell the story of the cinema itself - and the many inspiring characters surrounding it - but also take on the important task of showing an international audience how everyday life in a country torn apart can look, feel and evolve. Using film and cinema - recognizable and relatable to most people around the world - regardless of geography, culture or life circumstance. The aim of the film is not to delve into Afghan history or its many conflicts. Because as much as that has, and keeps affecting everyday life, it doesn't necessarily define the country or its people. The film also strives to take a new approach on how documentaries often are shaped and structured. By contrasting the culture and region with more western contemporary elements such as music and photographic style it can both broaden its audience and portray a more modern and relevant picture. Below you can watch the pilot that was shot in March earlier this year. Here you will meet some of the main characters and get a wider understanding of the environment and its charm.
How it started
Who is involved?
What started out as a single man project has now grown in to a full filmproduction team. Although, still small, here is the fantastic crew behind the film.
Indio/ Production Company: Film production company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded by cinematographer Mattias Montero and director Adam Berg. The massive experience shared between the two will serve as a creative tool. Indio will also contribute with financing and marketing capabilities.
Herman Forsman/ Editor: Herman’s editing is rooted in his many years in music, both in the studio as a producer and on stage performing. When he made the transition from music to film he kept his approach to the subject at hand and has a free and objective way of looking at film. He combines fast paced musical cuts with story driven sections to propel the story forward while maintaining the viewers attention. The use of music and a music video style montage together with the true documentary story makes a fresh and easy to grasp take on the subject.
Simon Hernadi/ Producer: After a decade in the advertising industry he started his own production company based in Mumbai, India where he facilitated film service production throughout South East Asia for both US and European production companies. Since 2012 he has produced and worked on feature film and documentaries for the international market. Recent work include “Hundraåringen”, “Lost Kids" and "Hot Nasty Teen”, among other.
Jawed Taiman/ Production Manager, Camera Operator: Jawed was born in Afghanistan but lived and studied in London during the wars. He returned to his native country a few years ago. He is an experienced filmmaker and production manager who´s done documentaries of his own in addition to production services for foreign productionss. Our man on the ground.
SWISS/ Post Production: One of the leading post production companies in Sweden with well established experience in VFX and animation.
Red Pipe/ Post Production: An award winning full-service audio production company focusing on sound design and music production.
Saurabh Sinha/ PR: Has worked 20 years in film and is also an established nightlife profile.
Anders Forssberg/ Investor: Daytrader with his heart in the right place, has never invested in film production before.
SFI/ Financing: The Swedish Film Institute is tasked with encouraging Swedish film industry in a broad context on a national and international arena. It works in various areas to fund, distribute and promote launches of current Swedish feature, short and documentary films.
Nikon/ Technical Sponsor: With Martin as a brand ambassador, Nikon supplies the film production with a wide range of equipment.
Institute: INSTITUTE is an artist management and production company. Licensing of the still images taken by the director will be managed by INSTITUTE.
Why we need your help
In January we received funding from SFI. That money went to a planning and research trip to Kabul. Martin could complete the script by interviewing and testing characters. We also interviewed a lot of local filmworkers in order to create a good local crew, sound technician, second camera operator etc. The goal was to start filming in May but SFI took their time to make a decision and Martin wanted to start now. So straight after Anders Forsberg came on board, he invested so we could start shooting for two months in Kabul. Now we also know from the staff at Cinema Pameer that they will go to Pakistan during the same period and purchase new films. This is a crucial element of the film, it’s a dangerous and tricky trip that is costly to make. So here is where we will depend on your support!!
So whats next?
We are currently scheduling the shoot, exact dates will be kept confidential because of security concerns. We will film for two months in Afghanistan and hopefully, with your help, a shorter period in Pakistan as well. After that we will go back home and start editing all the material while we wait for the first snow to fall in Kabul. We plan to head back to complete the movie in early winter this year. Naturally we want to be transparent, all said and done this is a documentary and things can happen along the way, so no promises can be made that we will finish the film during these 3 months. However, we all think it’s realistic. After all material is gathered it's back to the edit suite. Our goal is to have the film ready for The Cannes Film Festival 2016.
What other people say about this film
"Long an amazing visual storyteller with still photography, Martin von Krogh has turned his attention to film and the fascinating and complex world of cinema and entertainment and its role in the cultural and political context of Afghanistan. Cinema Pameer is an important and wonderfully creative insight to a world many know little about. The film speaks to life and celebration in a country too often relegated to and mired in deadly conflict and sadness and reminds us that there is always resilience, creativity, and curiosity even in troubled places. A thoroughly engaging film and one that will garner much attention and raise awareness about a country and people who deserve notice, Martin’s film and subject will make you want to go to the movies."
- James B Wellford/ Former head of photo department, Newsweek
“The stories and images we get from places like Kabul are mostly the same. War and conflict overshadow the lives that are lived by "normal" people, just trying to get on with their lives. The film project Cinema Pameer offers us a different kind and much needed story from Kabul where we get close to people - both the ones running the cinema under difficult circumstances - as well the cinema -goers, just looking for a few hours of entertainment and distraction. The conflict is ever present in the background, but with the focus on the people and the cinema the film offers us a platform we can identify with and through this gives us a new insight into a country and a culture that is so much more than just war. I hope the filmmakers will succeed in finalizing this promising project!”
- Cecilia Lidin/ Consultant Swedish Film Institute 2011-2015
"The love of watching a story unfold on a big screen in a dark theater is something that transcends language, culture and boarders. Cinema Pameer delivers that idea in such a beautiful and fascinating way. The story of this little theater and the group of people that keep it alive caught my attention from the start and I can’t wait to see the final film on a big screen in a dark theater in Hollywood.”
- Marie Perry/ Agent, Gersh Production
"To me cinema has always been an escape, you buy a ticket for a couple of bucks and you can travel far away from your own problems. To me Cinema Pameer is a celebration of the power of moving images in a place most people only associate with tragedy and war. I can’t wait to see this film!"
- Tarik Saleh/ Filmmaker, ATMO
"When I first met Martin I was caught by his passion and dedication to Cinema Pameer and this film. After getting an understanding of his vision, the level of ambition and how he plans to execute the film my interest grew. With the team assembled and the energy and professionalism running through this project it felt natural to join in. I'm proud to contribute to the telling of this story, as important and beautiful as it is."
- Anders Forssberg/ Investor
Risks and challenges
I started this project 8 years ago, but I didn’t start by filming it right away. I wanted to do this story justice so I have trained hard to learn the craft of filmmaking.
If I'm going to be honest I might have needed a couple of more years in the edit room to get to a level where I feel comfortable.
But you need to start somewhere and 8 years is a long time. Even though this is my first film I hope that I can deliver a high quality documentary that will totally blow you away.
Above might be a creative risk, more importantly is the security issues. Afghanistan is a country embroiled in a low-intensive war. Nobody can guaranty safety or what kind of political development will occur within the next year.
Another risk is the financial part, we have our first investor that brought in 1 000 000 SEK, also we have the first development funds of 200 000 SEK from The Swedish Film Institute. With that initial financing we have passed the quality test and are almost guaranteed production support to reach the total budget of 3 500 000 SEK. But nothing is guaranteed. We are of course working with parallel funding with film companies and SVT (Swedish National Television). But if everything falls through we might start a second Kickstarter so we can reach our goals.
The rewards will be sent out and carried thru but in any event that we can't control there might be a delay.
The upside of everything is that everybody that we have screened the pilot for loves it and wants to be a part of its success, I hope you will too.
Martin von KroghLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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