Hava, Maryam, Ayesha

A film by: Sahraa Karimi

Producers: Katayoon Shahabi , Sahraa Karimi

The first independent Afghan film entirely shot in Kabul with director, actors, and actresses living in Afghanistan.

World Sales
Katayoon Shahabi
Tel: +98 (21) 22 86 32 60 / 61
Mob : +33 (0)6 76 41 89 67
World PR
Laurent Boye
Jazo PR
923 Cole Ave
Los Angeles CA 90038
Email: laurent@jazopr.com
Mobile: +1-310-220-7239

Color, 4K, 16:9, 1:2/39, Surround 5.1, 24 fps, 86 min, 2019, Afghanistan


Three Afghan women from different social background, living in Kabul, are facing a big challenge in their lives. Hava, a traditional pregnant woman whom no one cares about, is living with her father and mother in law. Her only joy is talking to the baby in her belly. Maryam, an educated TV news reporter, is about to get a divorce from her unfaithful husband, but finds out she is pregnant. Ayesha, an 18-year old girl accepts to marry her cousin because she is pregnant from her boyfriend who disappears after hearing the news. Each of them has to solve her problem by herself for the first time.


Biography of Director

Sahraa Karimi

Born in 1985, Sahraa Karimi comes from the second generation of Afghan refugees in Iran. At the age of fifteen, she played as an actress in two Iranian films which brought her to study cinema in Slovakia and graduated with a PHD of directing. During these years, she has made more than 30 short fictions and documentaries, some of which won numerous awards in international film festivals.
After 10 years of making many shorts and documentaries, she returned to Kabul. She made two documentaries there which were successful internationally and were broadcasted through ARTE France and BBC. "Hava, Maryam, Ayesha" is her first feature film which was shot entirely in Kabul with Afghan actors.


1st Feature:
Hava, Maryam, Ayesha
86 min
Afghanistan 2019

About 30 short films, fiction and documentaries, among which the following have got many awards:

Parlika: A woman in the land of Men 56 min Documentary Afghanistan 2016
Afghan Women Behind the Wheel 56 min Documentary Afghanistan 2010
Light Breeze, Memoirs from the Diary of an Emigrant 50 min Fiction Slovakia 2009
Simona 20 min Fiction Slovakia 2007
Chris: Paulina 26 min Documentary Slovakia 2007
Searching For a Dream 26 min Documentary Slovakia 2004


As a female filmmaker from Afghanistan, I promised myself to be the storyteller of my fellow countrywomen who seek to change their lives in a traditional society. By travelling to many Afghan cities and villages, I found real stories from inside my country about women such as Hava, Maryam, and Ayesha. Hava is the example of an Afghan housewife, Maryam is an intellectual and well-educated woman, and Ayesha is a teenager from the middle class. They are trying not to give in to the imposed patriarchal society. Their decision is a form of resistance to their predetermined life. My goal is to narrate the lives of the women who haven’t had a voice for many years, and they are now ready to change their fate.

Sahraa Karimi


1- Venice Int’l Film Festival (28 Aug.- 7 Sept. 2019/Italy) - Orizzonti
2- Adana Golden Boll Int’l F.F. (23-29 September.2019/ Turkey)
3- Mill Valley Film Festival (3-13 Oct. 2019/USA)
4- Busan Int’l Film Festival (4-13 Oct.2019/ South Korea)
5- Valladolid F.F. (19-26 Oct.2019/ Spain)
6- Asian World Film Festival (6-14 Nov.2019/ USA) Winner Best Actress Award
7- Afghan Film Festival in Canberra (15 Nov.2019/ Australia)
8- Kolkata International Film Festival (8-15 Nov.2019/ India)
9- International Film Festival India “Goa” (20-28 Nov.2019/ India)
10- Cairo International Film Festival (20-29 Nov.2019/ Egypt)
11- Musee Mohamed VI de Rabat (22-23 Nov.2019/Morocco)
12- Int’l Crime & Punishment F.F. (22-28 Nov.2019/ Turkey)
13- UN Women (25Nov.-6 Dec.2019/ Afghanistan)
14- Hainan Island International Film Festival (1-8 Dec, 2019/ China)
15- Asian Int’l Film Festival Arizona (6-8 Dec,.2019/ USA)
16- International Film Festival of Kerala (6-12 Dec,2019/ India)
17- Dhaka International Film Festival (11-19 Jan.2020/Bangladesh)
18- Women’s Int’l Film Festival in Kerala (21-25 Jan.2020/ India)
19- International Film Festival Wurzburg (30 Jan.-2 Feb.2020/ Germany)
20- Festival Int’l des Cinemas d’Asie de Vesoul (5-12 Feb.2020/ France)
21- Mucem (15 Feb.2020/ France)
22- Bengaluru International Film Festival (26 Feb.-4 March,2020/ India)
23- Glasgow Film Festival (26 Feb.-8 March.2020/ UK)
24- Stockholm Feminist Int’l Film Festival (27Feb.-8 March.2020/ Sweden)
25- Regional Film Festival in Kerala (21-26 Feb. 2020/ India)
26- Iranian Film Festival Zurich (28 May-3June,2020/ Switzerland)
27- Espoo Cultural Centre (29 April 2020/ Finland)
28- 1st international film festival of south Asia- Seoul (IFFSA-SEOUL)(16-18 Oct. 2020/ Seoul, South Korea)
29- Indie Meme Film Festival (IMFF) (16-18 & 23-25 April & 5-7 Nov. 2021/ Austin, Texas, US)
30- Fundación IFF Panamá (26 March-1 April 2020/ Panama)
31- 6th edition of the International Human Rights Film Festival (20-25 Sep. 2021/Albania)
32- Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (27 Oct.-24 Nov. 2021/ Hong Kong)
33- Ciné-Festival en Pays de Fayence (11-15 Oct. 2021/ France)- Winner of «Cigale d’or» for the best film
34- Princess of Asturias Foundation (A Cultural program)(14-23 Oct. 2021/ Spain)
35- 16th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival (TSAFF)(2 Oct. 2021/ Seattle, USA)
36- Australian Cinemateque (18 Dec & 2 Feb. 2021/ Australia)
37- Rome International FF (19-25 Nov. 2021/ Rome, Italy)
38- Duhok International Film Festival (11-18 Nov. 2021/ Kurdistan of Iraq)
39- OtherMovie Lugano Film Festival (18 - 24 Oct., 2021/ Lugano, Switzerland)
40- Refugee Film Festival in Helsinki (13-15 Oct. 2021/ Cinema Orion Helsinki/ Finland)
41- Sguardi Altrove International Women’s Film Festival (22- 30 Oct. 2021/Milan, Italy
42- Crime & Punishment FF (26 Nov.-2 Dec. 2021/ Turkey)
43- International Exile Film Festival (12-18 Nov. 2021/ Sweden)
44- Fondazione Imago Mundi (14 Dec. 2021/ Treviso, Italy)
45- Museum of Contemporary Art (Nov. 2021/ Skopje, Macedonia)
46- Donna Sostantivo Plurale (30 Nov. 2021/ Marche Region, Italy)
47- 17th Immaginaria International Film Festival of Lesbians & Other Rebellious Women (22-25 April 2022/ Italy)
48- Cinema El-Housh (23 Dec., 2021- 29 Feb., 2022/ Saudi Arabia)
49- University of Television and Film Munich (HFF) (9 Dec. 2021/ Munich, Germany)
50- National Museum of Asian Art (10-26 Dec. 2021/ USA)

Biography of Producer
Katayoon Shahabi

Katayoon Shahabi started her work in 1982 as a film promoter in the "Farabi Cinema Foundation" (FCF), where she worked with well-known filmmakers including Abbas Kiarostami and had the role of introducing Iranian cinema to the world.
In 1994, she cofounded “Cima Media International” (CMI), a semi-private company that produced and marketed Iranian films and television productions through which some exceptional Iranian directors started their career. This allowed her to gain experience in co-producing successful documentaries and feature films at an international level.
In 2001, she launched her own company, Sheherazad Media International (SMI) and in 2012, her France-based company, “Noori Pictures”. She has produced and co-produced many documentaries with both companies, and had many feature films as well in the festivals like Cannes, Venice … brought prestigious prizes for the Iranian Cinema.
The debut film of many of today’s well-known filmmakers of Iran such as Asghar Farhadi and Mohammad Rasoulof was distributed worldwide by Katayoon.
Being a jury member for fourteen times in international film festivals including Idfa, San Sebastian (as Chairperson), Katayoon was a jury member in the main competition section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Producer's Note

Through my frequent participations in festivals around the world, I’ve noticed an emergence of a new generation of talented Afghan filmmakers to which Sahraa, the director of this movie, belongs. After ten years of studying cinema and working on different movies, she moved back to her hometown, Kabul in order to offer an insight into Afghan society.
When I met Sahraa for the first time and saw her documentaries in Antalya 2016, what grabbed my attention was that she had managed to bring together western techniques of cinema (she has a PhD of cinema from Slovakia) and her Afghan identity that made her film authentic and honest.
She was determined to make her first feature film in Kabul with the money that she had been saving during many years of work, by using local actors and despite security risks that could put her life in danger.
Witnessing her dedication as well as her crew’s to make this first independent film, I was determined to do what I can to finish this film and help it to be seen worldwide by as many people as possible.