Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressAfghan filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat receives the sixth Baumi Script Development Award

Afghan filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat receives the sixth Baumi Script Development Award

The jury made its decision from among 43 international submissions during a digital session in January 2021: Afghan filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat is to receive the sixth Baumi Script Development Award, endowed with 20,000 Euros, for her feature film project “Kabul Jan”.

The award founders Pandora Film, the Baumgartner family and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, supported by an annually rotating guest juror, present the award in memory of producer Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner.

"Shahrbanoo Sadat’s story of a young woman camera operator who works in Kabul’s best-known TV station and begins a love affair made me extremely curious. I am therefore very pleased that we can support Shahrbanoo Sadat with the Baumi Award in her endeavour to tell a seemingly everyday story from contemporary Kabul. It was a pleasure to be able to be involved in presenting this award as it makes it possible to get projects off the ground at an early and fragile stage,” this year’s guest juror Maren Ade says.

The Baumi Award will be presented again during the Berlinale, but in a digital format this year.

Afghan filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat and guest juror Maren Ade.

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Jury statement:
"Kabul Jan" means 'Dear Kabul' in the Afghan language Dari. Shahrbanoo Sadat portrays this city and the lives of the predominantly young people who are living there. The story shows a modern picture of today’s Kabul and what it is like to be in love in Kabul. We were immediately fascinated by the project, not only because of the young impressive author Shahrbanoo Sadat, but also because it is so rare to see comedies coming from this part of the world.

In the romantic comedy-drama “Kabul Jan”, a young woman camera operator falls head over heels in love with a married television reporter who is also twice her age to boot. The conflict between young love and the morality of Afghan society calls for 'unheard of' ways of being together romantically.

About the award winner:
Shahrbanoo Sadat is a young Afghan director, writer and producer from Kabul. Her debut feature, "Wolf and Sheep", won the Art Cinema Award at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes in 2016. Her second feature film, "The Orphanage," also premiered in this Cannes sidebar in 2019. Sadat studied Documentary Film at the Kabul workshop of Atelier Varan in 2009. In 2013, she founded her own production company, Wolf Pictures, in Kabul. "Kabul Jan" is part of her Afghan pentalogy based on autobiographical texts and will see her working once again with the German producer Katja Adomeit.
After having won an award at the IFFR’s CineMart, Shahrbanoo Sadat will now be presenting "Kabul Jan" at the 18th Berlinale Co-Production Market as one of this year’s "Rotterdam Berlinale Express" projects

About the award:
The Baumi Script Development Award was presented for the first time in February 2016 in memory of the film producer and distributor Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner. Endowed with 20,000 Euros, the award was initiated by the founders Martina and Sandra Baumgartner, the company he co-founded, Pandora Film, and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. Writers can apply for the award with a synopsis in English. A jury consisting of the founders and an annually rotating international filmmaker choose a story idea from the submissions.

The winner of the first Baumi Award was the Egyptian Omar El Zohairy (guest juror Fatih Akin), who is currently in post-production with the winning project "Feathers of a Father". He was followed by the Polish filmmaker Kuba Czekaj (guest juror Aki Kaurismäki), the Syrian director Soudade Kaadan (guest juror Martina Gedeck), the German author Martin Rehbock (guest juror Bent Hamer). Last year, South African Amy Jephta was the winner of the Baumi Award which she received from the guest juror Małgorzata Szumowska.


The founders would like to extend special thanks to Katja Clos for the graphics and logo design, Friederike Zeit for the design and production of the award sculpture, and Fritz Erler for programming the website.