Experience of 'Shooting' in Conflict Zone

Thirty per cent of ‘Utopia’ was shot in India, 30 in the United Kingdom and 30 in Afghanistan, says its director, Hassan Nazer

Published: 10th December 2015 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th December 2015 06:34 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hassan Nazer, director of Afghan drama film ‘Utopia’ which is being screened at the 20th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), on Wednesday shared the experience as well as the challenges he faced during the shooting of the film in a conflict zone like Afghanistan.

“Our security was tighter than other film crews while shooting in the country because we had faced a lot of threats and difficulties for shooting such a film within Afghanistan,” said the director of the film, which was Afghanistan’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.

“But the officials in Afghanistan gave us their full support to secure our safety. Unfortunately, six hours after I vacated the hotel I was staying while shooting the film, it came under a Taliban attack which killed twelve people,” Hassan recalled the tragic incident.


However, he said that the film could not be fully pictured in the country due to certain technicalities. “Thirty per cent of the movie was shot in India, 30 in the United Kingdom and 30 in Afghanistan. So, the film is a mixture of every location,” he said.

“We really wanted everything that happened in Afghanistan to be pictured in Afghanistan. But a scene such as an explosion cannot be done in Afghanistan as it affects the normal life of the people residing there, leading to security issues,” Hassan noted.

Meanwhile, Bengali filmmaker Satarupa Sanyal was the other personality present for the interaction on the day. Satarupa’s ‘Onyo Opalaa’ (The Journey of a Woman) is regarding a girl who got married to a transgender from an aristocratic family, at a very tender age.  It was well-appreciated as it received a standing ovation at the Indian Panorama section of IFFI 2015 in Goa in a packed auditorium, where it was premiered. The film was one of the seven Bengali films in this year’s Indian Panorama section.

‘’Patriarchy rules in our country are an obstacle which must be demolished to identify a complete human being from within and to accomplish feats in life,’’ said Satarupa when asked to place her film according to the present Indian context.


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