We Believe In Roya
Roya Sadaat is a film maker and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Roya Film House.
As a female Afghan film director, Roya lived in Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban. She witnessed the conditions women had to live in during that period. She felt them, she knew them. During our first conversation this past February, she shared memories of seeing them “burning themselves because of their misery.” Understanding this pain, she set out to tell the story of Afghan women through film after the fall of the Taliban regime. With determination and creativity, she created “Roya Film House”, the first independent Afghan film company founded by a woman.
Key members of this company are Afghans who have cinematic education in Afghanistan, Italy and South Korea. With a tangible passion for the arts, these founding members were able to win some of the most important cinematic prizes in drama and documentary in film festivals around the world. Most of their productions focus on Human Rights issues. Thus far, they have created twelve feature films focusing on the life and experiences of women and children in Afghanistan, being the only production house that has made this a paramount focus of their work.
During that first meeting, Roya was eager to share that her company has produced the first ever Afghan Soap Opera (for Tolo TV). Developing entertainment for millions of people is no easy task, especially when she and her team are using the medium to be critical of the governments corrupt practices as well as other current social challenges.
What do you do after establishing a successful film production company that shares the stories of Afghan women with the rest of the world? If you are Roya Sadat, you create the first Afghan film festival dedicated to highlighting female film makers’ work. The Afghanistan International Women’s Film Festival is being developed and already can count UNAMA among its supporters.