Wednesday, 27 July 2011

23 July 2011

That's scary - the 23rd July already. We're only three weeks off the US premiere of THE BOY MIR - TEN YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN and there remains so much to do. New York on the 12th and then LA the 19th and Chicago the 21st.I've enjoyed not being stuck in airports and airplanes for a while but that's sound about to change! Leigh, Christina and everyone in the office are working hard to get the word out but the demands upon any individual's time these days are enormous - you simply never know if the cinema will be full or empty. That's why my intention is simply to always feel we have done our best and then let the dice fall as they will. At very least we have done well to secure a two week run in both LA and NY - which, incidentally, means the film will be considered by the Oscar committee...(Hey, you never know! Mind you, a colleague in LA who works closely with the Oscars folk said he thought the film was stunning and stood no chance of being nominated - 'they simply don't nominate those kind of international social docs...' - though Born into Brothels was nominated I remember).
Anyway, more importantly, will the press give us any coverage? That's the key - and maybe it being summer won't help. It's also Ramadan so some of our Muslim audience will stay away too. Oh well, as I said, we do the best we can. The film launches in Holland soon and that will be interesting as a guide to what folk think.

I've been doing a fair bit of reading about Afghanistan recently - and the book I'd most recommend is Cables from Kabul by Sherard Cowper-Coles, the former Ambassador in Kabul. Fascinating, erudite, funny and, for me anyway, on the nail. I met him briefly last year at a conference on Afghanistan and he was all those things in person too. It's a shame I didn't get anywhere with the book idea for Mir but I'd have struggled to write anything as relevant as Sherard's insights. I must also mention in passing an excellent film made by that excellent journalist Lyse Doucet - it was on the BBC recently (and was the best of their short 'Afghanistan after 10 years' series - if you've access to I-Player, have a look. There really is no shortage of material about Afghanistan these days - quite what the public's attitude is I find hard to gauge. Certainly, when I hear the public talk on, for example, Question Time, they are extremely poorly informed - mind you, some of the panellists talk absolute rot too. And THAT'S why they have to watch my film....

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