an independent Afghan film company with a focus on human rights, and coordinated the first Afghanistan International Women’s Film Festival
Born in Herat, Afghanistan, in 1988, Sadat was a young child when the Taliban came to power. Her mother, not wanting her and her sister Roya to go uneducated, broke the law by teaching them at home. When the Taliban regime was abolished, Sadat started working with her sister making films, establishing the Roya Film House in 2003. She also worked as the dress designer on the film Three Dots.
Sadat’s first documentary film, First Number, was awarded the Afghan Peace Prize. She followed that with another short film, We Are Post-modernist, which she wrote, directed and shot. The film received the Best Camera Work award at the Kabul Film Festival.
Following her 2006 documentary, Ma By For You And Me, Sadat was invited to participate in international film festivals. Her next documentary, 1,2,3?, was named Best Film at the International Trevignano Film Festival in Italy, the Bahrain Human Rights International Film Festival, and the International Almaty Film Festival in Kazakhstan.
Half Value Life, Sadat’s 2008 look at how women were faring in Afghanistan, received six festival awards: Best Director, Kabul International Film Festival (2008); International Young Talent Competition — Generation DOK, Afghanistan Film Festival (2008); Best Film, Egypt Film Festival (2008); Best Film, Bilder vom Film festival, Germany (2009); Public Liberties & Human Rights Award, Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival (2011); and First Place, Documentaries, Women’s Voices Now Film Festival, Los Angeles (2011).
Working with the Pangea Foundation from 2008 to 2009, Sadat made a documentary film titled A Woman Sings in the Desert, for which she received the Best Director award at the Kabul Film Festival. While studying filmmaking in Italy in 2009, she made a film in Treviso about the Iranian singer Mohsen Namjoo. She started working for Colors magazine (based in Italy) in 2010 and made a short documentary, Kabul Sea. In the same year, she filmed Beginning of Eagle 4 for Tolo TV, Afghanistan’s most popular television station.
In 2011, Sadat’s long-form documentary, After 35 Years, captured the struggles due to the lack of family law in the Afghan judicial system. The following year, Sadat worked with Afghan musician and filmmaker Rafi Behroozian on a short documentary, Eyewitness.
From 2012 to 2013, Sadat made three films for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s “Afghanistan: Ten Years On” documentary series, which explored efforts by UN agencies and the international community to help Afghanistan rebuild the country and its institutions: The Elimination of Violence Against Women; The Elimination of Violence Against Children; and The Elimination of Violence Against Police.
Sadat is currently making a film about elite Afghan Army commandos, Afghanistan Night Story, and serves as vice president of Roya Film House.


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