THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD

By Sonia KRONLUND

GLORIA FILMS - as PROD

Biography - Post-Production 2016


    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Biography, Documentary
    • Countries
    • FRANCE
    • Languages
    • PASHTU, ENGLISH
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Director(s)
    • Sonia KRONLUND
    • Writer(s)
    • Sonia KRONLUND
    • Producer(s)
    • Maud HUYNH (GLORIA FILMS)
    • Synopsis
    • This is the story of Salim Shaheen, the most prolific and popular actor-director-producer in Afghanistan, maker - so far - of 108 films, inspired by Bollywood and Hollywood but shot in Kabul, which he calls "Nothingwood ". A man who believes in the cinema in a way no one believes in it elsewhere, like a sort of Ed Wood on a much grander scale, powerful and generous, a "genius without talent" who deploys boundless energy in shooting Z-movies seen by hundreds of thousands of Afghans.
      In the 30 years that he has been filming in Afghanistan, Salim has survived every war, every regime and every form of censorship without ever stopping filming. He shoots four productions at once. He is both behind and in front of the camera and often gives himself the main role. He launches one shoot after another like a cinematic slave worker, always on the verge if disaster. Certain scenes in his films often go beyond the limits of what is acceptable from a religious point of view: he films young girls without veils, makes them sing and dance (but never too much all the same). But, for him, the love of cinema is stronger than anything.
      Will the departure of the last foreign troops in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, the possible return to power of the extremists or their action in the opposition overcome this faith in moving pictures? That is the question that my film will ask while retracing an exceptional life closely mingled with the history of Afghanistan over the last 30 years.
      In the narrative structure I wish to set up, instead of getting Salim Shaheen to relate his own story, I shall ask him to re-enact certain scenes himself or to have them performed by his actors. Salim Shaheen will end up directing and filming himself in the “movie of his life”. My film, the one that we shall see, relating this shoot, will thus be a blend of past and present, history and life, fiction and documentary.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jan 01, 2015
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