Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat is currently shooting her first feature "Wolf and Sheep," which is produced by Katja Adomeit with support from the Danish Film Institute's talent scheme, New Danish Screen.
Sadat's dream was to make her first feature, about a group of young Afghan shepherds, in her own country. However, after delaying the production several times due to security reasons, the director and producer had to accept that the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse every day and that they needed to shoot somewhere else. Instead, they decided to shoot in Tajikistan, north of the Afghan border.
German-born Katja Adomeit, who has been based in Copenhagen since 2006, reported recently from the set:
"In order to portray an Afghan village and an Afghan community one to one, we built an entire village in the middle of the mountains in Tajikistan and flew 38 Afghans in from central Afghanistan. Receiving visas for 38 Afghans from the Tajik Foreign Ministry who is afraid that some of them have relations to Taliban or ISIS, while trying to collect all the Afghan cast who have never been out of their village before and had to travel for 35 hours – that was pretty crazy. The second group of Afghans, including babies and grandmothers, have just arrived.
We live here in the mountains with them and 55 crew members from Denmark, Belgium, France, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Portugal. We are 92 in total. The head of departments are female, and all assistants are local men."
Most days, we are filming with a group of shepherd children. Each of them have their own flock of animals; there are donkeys, horses, bulls, chicken, cats, sheep and goats on set. It is really hot: 30 ºC, which falls down to 14 ºC at night. We are only filming exterior.
Sometimes, I think about how this film that could have been actually very simply produced in a small village in Afghanistan, where everything exists, has become a quite complicated film. And I get upset about the fact that Shahrbanoo doesn't have the opportunity to make films in her own country."
About Katja Adomeit
Director and producer Katja Adomeit, of German origin graduated as a producer in 2012 from the alternative Danish film school Super16. From 2006 Adomeit worked at Zentropa – until 2012, when she set up her own company Adomeit Film.
Adomeit was Producer on the Move in Cannes 2015 and co-producer on 2014's Cannes participant, Ruben Östlund's "Force Majeure," winner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. Her first film as producer was Daniel Joseph Borgman's "The Weight of Elephants," which enjoyed its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013. Adomeit also works in documentary, having produced Anna Eborn's "Pine Ridge" (2013), about a group of young Native Americans in South Dakota, selected for Venice Film Festival and winner of Best Nordic Documenary in Göteborg, and "Not at Home" (2013), a film with strong fictional elements about a group of Afghan refugees. She directed the film herself in collaboration with Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat.
In addition to "Wolf and Sheep," Adomeit is currently working as co-producer on Frida Kempff's "Winter Buoy," a documentary co-produced between Sweden, Denmark and France.
"Wolf and Sheep" was developed with the Cannes Cinefondation Residency in France, where Daniel Borgman also developed "The Weight of Elephant."
Katja Adomeit is producing "Wolf and Sheep" for her own company Adomeit Film. The Danish Film Institute's talent programme New Danish Screen supported the film with €135,000 early in the process, so Adomeit found herself in a better position to string together an impressive patchwork of financers while maintaining the project as a Danish major production.
The film is co-produced by La Fabrica Nocturna and Zentropa International Sweden. In addition to crowdfunding from 413 persons, it is financed by Eurimages, Film I Väst, Cinereach, Cinéma du Monde, Filmwerkstatt Kiel, Center for Culture and Development, Danish Arts Council, Media, Hubert Bals, French Institute Kabul, Visions Sud Est and Hong Kong Financing Forum – Wouter Barenddrecht Award.