Filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat Finally Escapes Kabul With Family

After several attempts, the Cannes-winning director has now made it out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with help from French authorities.


Shahrbanoo Sadat, the Cannes-winning Afghan filmmaker who last week spoke passionately to The Hollywood Reporter about her efforts to escape Kabul days after it fell to the Taliban, has finally managed to leave the country.

The director, who won the top Directors’ Fortnight award in Cannes for her first feature, the rural Afghanistan-set Wolf and Sheep, in 2016 and returned three years later with her well-received follow up The Orphanage, made it out of Afghanistan on Monday, according to a statement from her producer at Adomeit Film, Katja Adomeit.“With the help of the French government and the help from people all around the world, Shahrbanoo made it after many days together with nine family members through the crowds and Taliban checkpoints into the airport, where French soldiers took care of her and her family,” said Adomeit.

“Communication with Shahrbanoo Sadat at the moment is difficult, but she has confirmed she is in Abu Dhabi soon boarding a plane to Europe.”

Friends outside Afghanistan had been growing increasingly concerned about Sadat, who made several attempts to leave Kabul over the past week but faced repeat difficulties getting to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Airport, where there were scenes of chaos last Monday as thousands tried to board planes.

When she spoke on Tuesday, she described the problem of getting the paperwork with the right permissions, flight information and confirmation that all people she was travelling had seats in order to get through the various Taliban checkpoints that blocked her route.

Another prominent Afghan filmmaker to have left the country is Afghan Film Head Sahraa Karima, who was able to escape Kabul with her family late Tuesday night thanks to help from the Slovakian, Turkish and Ukrainian governments.

She is now safe and sound in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.