Wolf and Sheep to Cannes

CANNES. Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat's Danish produced first feature, "Wolf and Sheep," is selected for Quinzaine des Réalisateurs / Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. That makes two Danish films at this year's festival.

Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat's first feature "Wolf and Sheep" has been selected to the Cannes Film Festival's Quinzaine des Realisateurs/Director's Fortnight sidebar. The Afghan director has collaborated with producer Katja Adomeit on a feature film that portrays the life of a group of Afghan shepherd girls and boys.

"Shahrbanoo Sadat continues to live and work in Afghanistan, in spite of the Taliban's constant attacks on press and filmmakers. She's one of the first female Afghan directors ever and only 25 years old. With 'Wolf and Sheep," she wants to depict another Afghanistan than the one we see in the media, where the war and the Taliban dominates the agenda. She wants to show the life in a village from a part of the country without war and violence," says Adomeit.

Wolf and Sheep

"Wolf and Sheep" takes place in rural Afghanistan, where people believe in the stories they invent to tell, explaining the mysteries of the world. Shepherd children own the mountains. Even though there are no grownups around, they know the rules very well; the main one is that boys and girls are not allowed to be together. The boys practice with their slings to fight wolves. The girls smoke secretly and play wedding, dreaming of getting a husband soon. They gossip about Sediqa, 11, an outsider. They think she is cursed. Qodrat, 11, becomes the gossip topic, after his mother remarries with an old man with two wives. He is alone in the most isolated parts of the mountains, where he meets Sediqa, and they become friends.

Sadat's original dream was to make her first feature 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.

Shahrbanoo Sadat

Shahrbanoo Sadat is a young Afghan scriptwriter, producer and director based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her first short fiction, "Vice Versa One,” was selected for Directors' Fortnight in 2011. She directed "Not At Home" (2013) with Katja Adomeit; a hybrid project developed and produced with CPH:DOX' initiative DOX:LAB. "Wolf and Sheep" was developed with the Cannes Cinefondation Residency in 2010. 20 years old at the time, Sadat was the youngest participant ever selected.

Katja Adomeit

German-born producer Katja Adomeit has been based in Copenhagen since 2006. She 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 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" is produced by Adomeit Film and is backed by the Danish Film Institute's talent scheme New Danish Screen. The film is co-produced by La Fabrica Nocturna (France), Wolf Pictures (Afghanistan), Zentropa International Sweden (Sweden) and Film Väst (Sweden).

The Cannes Film Festival kicks off on May 11. Nicolas Winding Refn's Danish "The Neon Demon" has been announced for the Competition.

Cannes Film Festival (11-22 May)