Development Pictures: Developing Film in Afghanistan

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Here's a man after my own heart: Sam French, the founding director of Development Pictures in Kabul, Afghanistan. He's into many different projects, he's committed to rebuilding a film industry in a country that has had it's film history destroyed by war and hostile takeover, and he's a passionate advocate for change and awareness. What's more, he's a strong supporter of Film Annex's Afghan Development Project, stating “I think it is a fantastic venture and I would like to get involved with it.”

These are just some of Sam's current projects through Development Pictures:

-The Afghan Film Project. As the founder of this endeavor, French is committed to providing filmmaking infrastructure and training to interested Afghan students and citizens. His hope is to foster and hone their directing skills so they can produce films in and about Afghanistan, thereby restoring the Afghan film industry that was decimated by 30 years of war. 

-Buzkashi Boys. This is the Afghan Film Project's first production, and one of the first short films to be produced entirely on location in Afghanistan. This film employed a Western crew with 12 Afghan interns, who were trained in filmmaking techniques during the course of production. These interns have has since gone on to work in the burgeoning Afghan film industry, and the film has gone on to tour film festivals around the world. For more information and to see the film's trailer, visit

-Kabul at Work. This is a “day in the life” series spotlighting the citizens of Kabul, from the postman to the school teacher. This series will soon be followed up by Afghanistan at Work, a similar project that showcases the lives of everyday Afghani citizens from all over the country. For more information, visit

French is also involved in various projects and commercials for television, news broadcasts, and social media. French believes that, in order to become a successful country once again, Afghans must first build connections with each other, and then the world at large--connections that can be forged via mobile social media and film. “I think film is the medium that has the most power to influence a society, its morals and direction,” French says. He continues: “The Afghans I've met have been intelligent, motivated, and they want a better future for their country.” By helping to rebuild a socially powerful industry like filmmaking, French is doing his part to support the dream of a bright and prosperous future for Afghanistan. It will be a red letter day when my local film festival will have the opportunity to screen a film made 100% in Afghanistan, and you can bet that I will be the first one to buy a ticket. I can't wait to see what kind of stories they will tell.

 To view other articles and videos recommended by Sarah Grace, visit

About the author


Sarah Grace is a writer filmmaker living and working in Madison, Wisconsin. She is passionate about independent enterprise and is a big supporter of Internet-based film, television, and other entertainment.

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