The Fan Carpet Chats To… Dodging Bullets To Make A Film: An Interview With Louis Meunier The Director Of KABULLYWOOD
'Kabullywood' is an Afghan comedy-drama directed by Louis Meunier, based on a true story. It follows a group of young artists who attempt to open a cultural centre in the heart of Kabul as an act of resistance against the violence.
Meunier won the Golden Critics Award at The Geneva International Oriental Film Festival 2017, and a Silver Award at WorldFest Houston 2017.
Here he talks about why the film is so important to him and the young cast, and how they had to dodge bullets to get it made.
What is 'Kabullywood' about?
'Kabullywood' tells the story of four art college students, who decide to renovate a neglected movie theatre as an act of resistance against the looming return of fundamentalists. They face many challenges along the way. The main roles are played by comedians from Aftaab Theater, a group of 14 actors. Other roles are played by real-life characters, such as Naser, the projectionist of Aryub Cinema, which served as the main location for the film.
You had a tough time making the film, didn’t you?
The filming was difficult. We were threatened by gunmen, our house was riddled with bullets, we almost died in a fire, part of the team was injured in a bombing, and eventually the theatre we were refurbishing couldn’t open after all. This setback was a major disappointment, but at least the film is here to testify about the situation in Afghanistan. It bears testimony to the Afghan art scene – a unique cultural identity inspired by Bollywood music and films, Middle-Eastern lifestyle, Iranian culture and Western hip-hop.
Photo credit: ©Tamanifilms