Portrait : Mehdi Zafari

My name is Mehdi Zafari, born in 1983 in Ghazni province of Afghanistan in the Gol-Kuh village in the district of Qarah Bagh.

I am studying Anthropology at the EHESS in Paris, France, I am also a documentary filmmaker.

When I was a child, during the Soviet Union invasion, our house was bombed by the Soviet killing eight of my family.  Following that tragedy, my family decided to take refugee first in Pakistan and then in Iran.  I finished my school in Iran, a country with which we share the same language and religion.

With the fall of Taliban regime I decided to go back to my country in order to continue my education. A year later, I entered Kabul University, Fine Arts section.

The faculty lacked expert teachers and equipments. The workshops launched by foreign embassies were our only hope for knowledge and experience.

In 2006, I entered a course on documentary filmmaking delivered by the French Film School Ateliers Varan. Since then I have participated in a summer school on Cinema and Human Rights held in conjunction with the Venice Film Festival in Italy, participated in the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale-Talent Campus, attended the French National Film School La Fémis Documentary Summer School, attended the  “5 sur 5” Film Festival held in La Louviere Belgium and took part in a Film Editing course provided by Ateliers Varan in Kabul and some workshop in Paris at INA.

In 2009 Ateliers Varan workshop, along with my former French professor, I served as assistant trainer for a new group of 10 young film students.

In October and November 2010, I was working as Trainer and Training Coordinator in a production and training documentary program for young film students in Afghanistan called Community Supported Film from Boston, USA.