26 October 2021

AFF Investment Fund project When Pomegranates Howl has been announced as the Australian submission in the International Feature Film category for next year’s Oscars.

When Pomegranates Howl:
On the busy roads and back streets of Kabul, ten-year-old Hewad (newcomer Arafat Faiz) peddles pomegranates, amulets and wide-eyed naivety among his fellow citizens. Since his father was martyred, Hewad has been the family breadwinner, though he yearns to be a movie star – a pipe dream that becomes quietly plausible when the boy strikes up a friendship with an Australian war photographer. Sadly, the hand of fate has other plans in this lucid story of religion, superstition, destiny and circumstance. Inspired by real events, this film provides a window into Afghanistan through the eyes of its youth.

The outstanding second feature of Iranian/ Australian director Granaz Moussavi (My Tehran for Sale), Pomegranates was shot on location in Kabul, telling a small part of the larger story that would culminate in the horrific events in August 2021.

Moussavi recently spoke to the Golden Globes about her decision to film in Kabul: “The trigger for me to go to Afghanistan was my divided heart, which is now split in three. Now, Afghanistan is also part of this broken heart. As an Iranian and a neighbor to Afghanistan, we share the same language and history, and I see us as one nation even if we are separated. I still believe that our destiny and happiness is correlated. No country in that region can get rid of the brutality and cruelty without the other part of the region enjoying peace and stability.

Watch an exclusive Q&A with director Granaz Moussavi below:

When Pomegranates Howl is an Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund project, and has also recently been nominated in the Youth category in the 2021 Asia Pacific Screen Awards and included in the upcoming Sydney Film Festival program.

Financed with the assistance of the South Australian Film Corporation, with post-production by Adelaide’s Artisan Post Group.

Image: When Pomegranates Howl (2020, supplied)