44th International Film Festival of India

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44th International Film   Festival of India
44th International Film
Festival of India

When man desires something and gets it easily, he wants

more of it. As William Shakespeare said, desire of having is the sin of

covetousness that seems unending.

The Film “Man’s Desire for Fifth Wife” has now been selected for the

44th IFFI under the category of Cinema of the World (CW) and will be

screened in Goa on the 25th of November 2013.

The film “Man’s Desire for Fifth Wife” in Dari language of Afghanistan

is in many ways an apt example of this. Produced under the banner

of Altin Films, the film also poses several questions about male-
dominated society and values set centuries earlier that continue to

But more than anything else, this is notable because it is the first

time that a film has been made in that region by a crew that was

headed by a woman associate director.

This is a particularly important achievement since the film was made

in the orthodox Taliban territory where a woman can be stoned to

death if even an inch of her body becomes visible to anyone.

For Neelofer Shama who has until now been known for volumes

of work for Doordarshan, this was no mean achievement, and she

is grateful to the law enforcement authorities in that region that

provided her full protection as she went about unhindered with her

The 90-minute film (sub-titled in English) has been produced by

Sabruddin Rahmani, Murad Hamidi, and Farid Yarash, the film’s

casting director was Sediq Abedi who was the story writer as well

as the main star with Shakhnaza Jabirwa. The Associate Director

was Neelofer Shama while the cinematographer was Ramesh Nath.

The background music of the film has been composed by Ravindra

Jain, while the production design was by Sanjay Bhan. The costume

designers were Hayatullah Alamyar and Emam Berdihof. The editing

of the film was done in N S Studio in Delhi while the film was

processed at Adlabs and sound was handled on Dolby 7.5 by Empire

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Neelofer says she and her crew had been invited to Tajikistan to

make five documentaries there. During this visit, she met the Afghan

producer who invited her to shoot a feature film in Afghanistan.

Thus “A Man’s Desire for Fifth Wife” has become the first production

after India’s independence to have been made by private filmmakers

from both countries.

Along with a nine-member crew, Neelofer shot the film in 42 days

in Fariyab which is Taliban territory. She is grateful to producer

Sabruddin Rahmani who provided the security personnel so that she

could shoot without any fear.

Since local traditions do not allow young women to act, most of

the ten women in the film are from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and

only aged women are from Afghanistan, Neelofer revealed, adding

that the main actress was from Afghanistan but emigrated from the

country after the film was completed. The crew also had artistes

from Russia and Canada. She also said she could see many local

women watching her enviously from a distance

The film has already been screened to a full house at the Boston

International Film Festival in April this year.

She is also overwhelmed by the reception the film received at a press

meet in Kabul in the presence of General Latif who heads the film

department in Afghanistan.

The story of the film based in a village in north Afghanistan revolves

around the centuries-old culture which allows a man to have up to

four wives. But the twist comes when a man wants to get married

for the fifth time and attempts to force a young woman who loves

someone else to marry him. The climax comes in a match of the

traditional wrestling match “Buzkashi or Oghlak” using thousands of

Encouraged by the love she received from Afghans, Neelofer hopes

this will lead to more Indo-Afghan collaborations.

Neelofer Shama has distinguished herself in the world of films and

television with an unusually large bouquet of trailblazing serials

and documentaries. Starting as early as in 1987, she was one of the

pioneers among Independent television producers who shone on the

horizon of audio-visual media via Doordarshan.

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During her creative journey as director and producer spanning over a

period of more than two decades now, she received many laurels and

accolades nationally as well internationally. Her documentaries on

countries like Tajikistan and Afghanistan with an in-depth analysis of

economy, culture and lifestyle of these countries have received great

critical acclaim.

She began her career as television producer in 1987 with the making

of a documentary film on the unusual historical subject of “Harwan

excavations and Avantisvara temple”. Soon after, she made a 90-

minute telefilm, “Haadsa (The Accident)”.

She has made over 100 episodes of different creative works for

Doordarshan, All India Radio, various Central Ministries, Indira

Gandhi National Open University, advertising agencies, and so on,

besides making works based on novels by renowned award-winning

authors like Amrita Pritam, Indira Goswami and Kartar Singh Duggal.

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