Wichita State News

WSU to co-present documentary 'Afghan Star'

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wichita State University’s Office of International Education will co-host a special screening of the acclaimed British-Afghan documentary “Afghan Star” with the Wichita Association for the Motion Picture Arts/Tallgrass Film Festival at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the CAC Theater at the Rhatigan Student Center.

Tickets are $9 general admission ($7 for seniors) with special prices of $5 for WSU faculty/ staff and $2 for college and high school students with ID.

After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, pop culture has returned to Afghanistan. Millions are watching “Afghan Star,” a pop idol-style TV series in which people from across the country compete for a cash prize and record deal. Three brave women are among the 2,000 people who audition.

Viewers vote for favorite singers by mobile phone, for many their first encounter with democracy. This timely and inspired film follows the moving stories of four young contestants looking for a new life. But their journeys take a terrifying turn as one young woman dances on stage, threatening her own safety and the future of the show itself.

“Afghan Star” is the feature directorial debut of British director Havana Marking and is a joint production of Afghanistan and the United Kingdom (www.afghanstardocumentary.com).

The film is being shown at theaters and festivals the world over and was the winner of the Best World Cinema Documentary Director Award and the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, where it had its American premiere in 2009.

It continues to be one of the best reviewed films of the past year, still retaining a rare 100 percent on the “Tomatometer,” a compilation of the published film reviews of more than 200 top film critics (www.rottentomatoes.com), resulting in a Golden Tomato Award. It also was named as Britain’s submission to the 2010 Academy Awards competition for Best Foreign Language Film of 2009.

Wichita State University’s Office of International Education was established to assist international students at WSU. This also means assisting the university community to understand more about the experience of being an international student and to help them derive educational benefit from the presence of representatives of other cultures.

Founded in 2003 by the late Timothy Gruver, the Tallgrass Film Festival is a program of the Wichita Association for the Motion Picture Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, entertaining and enlightening audiences in America’s heartland (www.tallgrassfilmfest.com).

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Created on Thursday, January 21, 2010; Last modified on Thursday, January 21, 2010