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Afghanistan’s 8th National Theater Festival

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Afghanistan’s 8th National Theater Festival

 The 8th Afghanistan National Theater Festival will be held on 26th Meezan (18 oct) in joint support with the Ministry of Information & Culture (MoIC) and some other cultural institutions associated to arts and theater. It is important to mention that the festival will be held after two years delay. 

Elaborating on the topic, Abdul Ghafoor Shariati, Director of the National Theater Department of Ministry of Information & Culture (MoIC) said that the 8th Afghanistan National Theater Festival was delayed for two years. in mid 2013, we initiated our consultations with the cultural institutions and officials of ministry of information and culture and the involved parties offered their full support to conduct the event in a professional and artistic manners. 
Highlighting the main aspects and objectives of the 8th national theater festival, Shariati said that the main purpose of the event is to reflect the social realities through the art of theater. 
“The main purpose of the festival is to reflect the social realities through the art of theater and to bring coordination and harmony between Afghanistan theater activists, theater groups, government and non governmental theaters in the center and provinces of the country,” Abdul Ghafoor Shariati said. “this will support every provinces to display their native cultures and their issues, it also helps theater artists to remain in interactions and exchange their views.”
Responding to a question with regard to the number of participants in the 8th national theater festival, Shariati said that majority of participants will be from the provinces and so far we have received at least 40 scripts from which 9 scripts belong to Balkh, Heart, Baghlan, Farah, Khost, Kandahar, Parwan, Sar-e-Pul provinces. 
“The “theater shows-scenes” of center and provinces have been divided in two categories which comprise medium and high level shows included in the competitions and each category keeps three positions, the first, second and third positions and each positions would be awarded certificates, prizes and cash rewards,” Shariati said.
“Cali Gola is one of the theater shows which is basically focuses on the Caesar of Room and the writer of this scene is Albor Kamos of France, overall, eight scenes would go on screen, national theater scene would be in 14 shows and 40 scenes which will take two hours time, the provincial scenes will focus on the Afghan issues and our national culture which will reflect some so-called traditional values in some provinces,” Sahriat said, asserting that in the 8th national theater festival, the main focus would be on the quality of the shows.”
“A selection team consisting of members of the judges committee, a representative from financial committee, a representative from administrative department of ministry of information and culture and two people from the supporting institutions will decide on the selection of the scenes.” It is quite important to mention that the 8th Afghanistan National Theater Festival is financially supported by various institutions including the Ministry of Information & Culture (MoIC), Goethe Institute, The Agha Khan Foundation, and in technically it is supported by the National Radio Television of Afghanistan RTA, Afghan Film, Afghanistan Youths Association, The Civil Society Foundation of Afghanistan, Department of the Fine Arts of Kabul University, The Department of Arts and Culture. 
“Theater has a good reputation in Afghanistan, over the 13 years the national theater department has undertaken valueable job with consideration of the resources provided by the ministry of information and culture, in 2011, artists of Afghanistan theater were invited to Tajikistan which is a great honor to the theater of Afghanistan, over the past thirteen years we also succeeded to display good theater shows with consideration of the available resources and many of the shows were telecast in national radio television,” Shariati said. “national theater department succeeded to establish many theater groups in center and provinces of the country, in the previous festival, 26 theater groups came into existence in the provinces and it brought up a consolidation between the artists, the national theater department also held workshops to further develop professional works of the artists.”
“The facilities which exist in the library of theater is because of the efforts and struggles of Norway, alongside that, academy of science and Massoud Academy also contributed books for the national theater,” Shariat further stated. 
“There are talented people with the help of whom the theater in Afghanistan found its way, male and female artists both are provided opportunity to be affiliated with theater, there are some youths who voluntarily support theater without receiving any compensation, but the only problem to national theater is the lack of a professional sound system and lighting and some other technical problems. if we develop the art field in the country, then we will need an extended administrative structure, we also need a hall for artists, the only hall is Kabul Nandari, rehabilitation works of Kabul Nandari was supposed to be completed in 2011, but it wasn’t not, we hope that the concerned officials focus in this matter,” Shariati said. 
Meanwhile, head of cultural foundation of civil society Taimoor Hakimyar announced the 8th Afghanistan National Theater Festival an important step.
“The 8th national theater festival is a good move, finally we succeeded to conduct the festival after two years of delay and hope to see good theater shows from center and provinces of the country this time in this festival which had never seen before this festival,” Hakimyar said. 
“The festival also provides platform to the artists to share their perspectives and art assets and exchange their ideas and experiences, we consider festival a lucky move and hope that the youths display their good works in the show, holding of theater festival is a major success to artists and those associated to this field including the managing board,” Hakimyar further said. 
“Holding of such festivals are quite important for growth and development of Afghani culture and arts in Afghanistan, therefore, the responsible officials must strive to hold such festivals to nourish Afghan culture, because today we face many issues in our culture spheres, we can reflect our culture through theater,” member of executive board of the 8th theater festival Qadir Farukh said. 
“We do not have sallon for festival in the provinces, I hope that the theater also be an awareness to the Afghan officials that we had a good theater in Afghanistan, but it needs hall, at least we need to have one hall in each province for exhibitions, cinema and culturela and for arts festivals so that the artists may display their assets and skills,” Farukh furhter said. “ministry of information and culture will facilitate all those artists taking part in the festival from provinces and will pay their residents and other expenses.” Theater has prominent plane in Afghanistan and artists associated to this field have shown outstanding performance with consideration of resources provided to them by the ministry of information and culture. 
Kareema Malikzada