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    Film festival opens in Kabul

    KABUL (PAN): The Bashgahe Cinema (BASA)-Afghan Cinema Club 2011 Autumn Human Rights Film Festival (AHRF) opened at the French Institute in Kabul on Saturday.

    Guests included representatives from government, diplomatic missions, academia, the arts, civil society and the international donor community. 

    The annual festival, the first that BASA has organised, serves a platform for telling the stories of those who struggle against war, violence, discrimination and injustice, the French embassy said.

    In a statement, the embassy said the aim of the festival is to encourage filmmakers to document important issues and increase public awareness of the significance and universality of human rights.

    Ambassador David Pearce, US assistant chief of mission, and representatives from the French Institute opened the event, stressing the importance of supporting cultural endeavors and the significance of the festival's theme.  

    Pearce praised the efforts of Afghan civil society to promote the freedom of expression and creative arts, saying: "This festival serves as an important vehicle for Afghans to demonstrate to the world that their culture is rich and deep..."   

    Fifty films will be featured during the festival, with 32 made by Afghans and 18 from the international community, including two from the United States.