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Forbidden Reel

The thriving film industry in Afghanistan is a well kept secret. A little know fact in a country famous for war is the existence of a vital film legacy that has existed since the 1950s.  Funded by aid dollars, but controlled by the Afghan artists who helmed it, Afghan Film, the country's public film production company, was in the years preceding the Soviet invasion, a hub of central Asian film production.

The archived films reveal a place of culture, politics, a sophisticated middle class and a keen sense of humor.  The visuals created since then document a place pulled between the forces of modernity and tradition, and shine a light on the changing milieu that Muslims have faced over the past 60 years.

How To Donate: 

All donations for the production and distribution of Forbidden Reel are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

If you would like to make a donation online, please click here:

Donate to the Hartley Film Foundation

Hartley Update 

The filmmakers are looking to raise funds for direct funding to the Afghan Archives so that the Afghans can purchase a digital film scanner.

For More Information 


For more information, you can contact Sarah Masters, Managing Director at:

Phone: 800-937-1819 or 203-226-9500
E-mail: [email protected]

If you would like to explore films with similar themes, please click on Islam.