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The New York Optimist
Ultimate Escapes
a film by Havana Marking

film opens in NYC on June 26

film opens in LA on July 24

Filmmaker Havana Marking is available for interviews, she will be in:

Seattle June 11 & 12

Los Angeles June 14 & 15  

Washington DC June 17 - 19

New York City June 20 - 26

"A fantastic documentary about a talent competition in a country where you would never
dream such a thing is possible.” - Oprah Winfrey on The Oprah Winfrey Show, May 2009

Zeitgeist Films is proud to present the US Theatrical release of
AFGHAN STAR, a documentary film by Havana
Marking.  Winner of the Directing and the Audience Awards at Sundance Film Festival (2009 World Documentary
AFGHAN STAR will open in New York City at the Cinema Village on June 26.   The film will open in Los
Angeles on July 24 at the Nuart,  with a national rollout throughout the Summer.

In Afghanistan you risk your life to sing. After 30 years of war and five devastating years of Taliban rule, pop culture is  
beginning to return to the country— and since 2005, millions are tuning in to Tolo TV’s wildly popular American Idol-style
AFGHAN STAR. Like its Western predecessors, people compete for a cash prize and record deal. More
surprisingly, the contest is open to everyone across the country despite gender, ethnicity or age. Two thousand people
audition, including three extremely brave women. And when viewers vote for their favorites via cell phone, it is, for many,
their first encounter with the democratic process.  

Winner of the Directing and Audience Awards at Sundance’s 2009 World Documentary competition, Havana Marking’s
timely and moving film follows the dramatic stories of four young finalists—two men and two women—as they hazard
everything to become the nation’s favorite performer. By observing the Afghani people's relationship to its pop culture,
AFGHAN STAR is the perfect window into a country’s tenuous, ongoing struggle for modernity. What Americans
consider frivolous entertainment is downright revolutionary—and more human—in this troubled part of the world.
UK/Afghanistan • 2009 • 87 mins • Color • Digital