“Hava, Maryam, Ayesha” (Hava, Maryam, Ayesha)

First Film

Director: Sahraa Karimi
Producers: Katayoon Shahabi , Sahraa Karimi
Screenplay:  Sahraa Karimi, Sami Hasib Nabizada
Director of Photography: Behrouz Badrouj
Sound: Asqar Abgoon
Supervising Sound Editor: Mohammad Reza Delpak
Editor: Mastaneh Mohajer
Music: Saba Nedaei, Ali Tavakoli
Production Manager: Ahmad Shah Sultani, Sami Hasib Nabizada
Assistant Director: Mohammad (Kaveh) Ayreek
Set Designer: Sakineh Gholamali
Makeup Designer: Maryam Faqirzada
Still Photographer: Mohammad Aqeel Payeez
Investor: Ahmad Shah Sultani

Cast: Arezoo Ariapoor (Hava), Fereshta Afshar (Maryam), Hasiba Ebrahimi (Ayesha)

Color, 4K, 16:9, 1:2/39, Surround 5.1, 24 fps, 86 min, 2019, Afghanistan



Three Afghan women from different social background, living in Kabul, are facing a big challenge in their lives. Hava, a traditional pregnant woman whom no one cares about, is living with her father and mother in law. Her only joy is talking to the baby in her belly. Maryam, an educated TV news reporter, is about to get a divorce from her unfaithful husband that finds out she is pregnant. Ayesha, an 18-year old girl accepts to marry her cousin because she is pregnant from her boyfriend who disappears after hearing her pregnancy news. Each of them has to solve their problem by themselves for the first time.



Born in 1985, Sahraa Karimi comes from the second generation of Afghan refugees in Iran. At the age of fifteen, she played as an actress in two Iranian films which brought her to study cinema in Slovakia and graduated with a PHD of directing. During these years, she has made more than 30 short fictions and documentaries, some of which won numerous awards in International film festivals.
After 10 years of making many shorts and documentaries, she returned to Kabul. She made two documentaries there which were successful internationally and were broadcasted through ARTE France and BBC. "Hava, Maryam, Ayesha" is her first feature film.


  • “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha”
  • “Parlika: A woman in the land of Men”
  • “Afghan Women Behind the Wheel”
  • “Light Breeze, Memoirs from the Diary of an Emigrant”
  • “Simona”
  • “Chris: Paulina”
  • "Searching For a Dream"
  • Fiction
  • Documentary
  • Documentary
  • Fiction
  • Fiction
  • Documentary
  • Documentary
  • 86 min
  • 56 min
  • 56 min
  • 50 min
  • 20 min
  • 26 min
  • 26 min
  • 2019
  • 2016
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2007
  • 2007
  • 2004


As a female filmmaker from Afghanistan, I promised myself to be the storyteller of my fellow countrywomen who seek to change their lives in a traditional society. By travelling to many Afghan cities and villages, I found real stories from inside my country about such women as Hava, Maryam, and Ayesha. Hava is the sample of an Afghan housewife, Maryam is an intellectual, well-educated woman and Ayesha is a teen-ager from the middle class. They are trying to not give in to the imposed patriarchal society. Their decision is a form of resistance to their pre-determined life. My goal is to narrate the lives of women who haven’t had a voice for many years and now are ready to change their destiny.




  • Venice Int’l Film Festival (28 Aug.- 7 Sept. 2019/Italy) - Orizzonti
  • Adana Golden Boll Int’l F.F. (23-29 September.2019/ Turkey)
  • Mill Valley Film Festival (3-13 Oct. 2019/USA)
  • Busan Int’l Film Festival (4-13 Oct.2019/ South Korea)
  • Valladolid F.F. (19-26 Oct.2019/ Spain)
  • Asian World Film Festival (6-14 Nov.2019/ USA) Winner Best Actress Award
  • Kolkata International Film Festival (8-15 Nov.2019/ India)
  • International Film Festival India “Goa” (20-28 Nov.2019/ India)
  • Cairo International Film Festival (20-29 Nov.2019/ Egypt)
  • Musee Mohamed VI de Rabat (22-23 Nov.2019/Morocco)
  • Int’l Crime & Punishment F.F. (22-28 Nov.2019/ Turkey)
  • UN Women (25Nov.-6 Dec.2019/ Afghanistan)
  • Hainan Island International Film Festival (1-8 Dec, 2019/ China)
  • Asian Int’l Film Festival Arizona (6-8 Dec,.2019/ USA)
  • International Film Festival of Kerala (6-12 Dec,2019/ India)
  • Dhaka International Film Festival (11-19 Jan.2020/Bangladesh)
  • Festival Int’l des Cinemas d’Asie de Vesoul (5-12 Feb.2020/ France)


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Spotting List (docx)





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