Sahraa Karimi

Independent Film Director & Screenwriter

Sahraa Karimi is an Independent Film Director, and a screenwriter from Afghanistan. On 15 August 2021 she was forced to leave Afghanistan due to the sudden and unexpected fall of Kabul and the return of the Taliban to power. Currently, she is a Visiting- Professor at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematographia ( Rome National Film School) in Rome, Italy.

She belongs to the second generation of Afghan migrants in Iran. When she was 17 years old, she immigrated to the Slovak Republic. In August 2012 she returned to Kabul, established her own Film Production Company Kapila Multimedia House to support Afghan independent filmmakers and artists.

Sahraa Karimi has received her PhD Degree in the field of Cinema (Fiction Film Directing & Screenwriting) from the Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Film and TV Faculty in Bratislava, Slovakia (FTF- VSMU).

She is the first and only woman from Afghanistan, who has a PhD degree in the field of Cinema.

She is also the only Afghan filmmaker, who is an active member of the Slovak Film and TV Academy.

Sahraa Karimi has about 30 short fiction and documentary films in her filmography, which she has made during her study in VSMU from 2002 to 2012. Her films were successful internationally and were broadcasted through ARTE France, BBC, Slovak TV, and other European broadcasting channels. She is also the winner of many important international Film Awards such as the Slovak National Film and TV Award, Bilbao Int. Documentary and Short Film Festival-Spain, One World Doc. Film Festival- Slovakia, Sole Luna Film Festival- Italy, Morodas Doc Film Festival- Italy, DIDOR Film Festival-Tajikistan, Dhaka International Film Festival- Bangladesh, Cine Film Festival, Montereau, France, and many other significant film festivals around the world.

Her film “Afghan women behind the wheel” got about 25 prizes from important film festivals around the world and her short fiction film “Light breeze” got an academy award from Slovak Film and TV Academy as a best short fiction film. Her documentary film “Parlika, a woman in the land of men” had its European premiere at One World Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia in October 2016 and was the winner of the best Slovak documentary and Also the film recieved the award for the best documentary film from 16th Dhaka International Film Festival 20018 in Bangladesh.

Her first fiction feature film “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha” was shot entirely in Kabul with Afghan actresses and had its world premiere at Venice Film Festival in 2019. It was Afghanistan’s entry for Oscar in 2019. The film has participated in more than 50 film festivals around the world and has received numerous awards including Cigle D’or, Cine – Festival En Payes De Fayence, France, 2021.