Home Feature Hava, Maryam, Ayesha (Hava, Maryam, Ayesha)

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, but 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 the news. Each of them has to solve her problem by herself 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 which was shot entirely in Kabul with Afghan actors.


  • "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 women such as Hava, Maryam, and Ayesha. Hava is the example of an Afghan housewife, Maryam is an intellectual and well-educated woman, and Ayesha is a teenager from the middle class. They are trying not to give in to the imposed patriarchal society. Their decision is a form of resistance to their predetermined life. My goal is to narrate the lives of the women who haven’t had a voice for many years, and they are now ready to change their fate.



1-    Venice Int’l Film Festival (28 Aug.- 7 Sept. 2019/Italy) - Orizzonti
2-    Adana Golden Boll Int’l F.F. (23-29 September.2019/ Turkey)
3-    Mill Valley Film Festival (3-13 Oct. 2019/USA)
4-    Busan Int’l Film Festival (4-13 Oct.2019/ South Korea)
5-    Valladolid F.F. (19-26 Oct.2019/ Spain)
6-    Asian World Film Festival (6-14 Nov.2019/ USA) Winner Best Actress Award
7-    Afghan Film Festival in Canberra (15 Nov.2019/ Australia)
8-    Kolkata International Film Festival (8-15 Nov.2019/ India)
9-    International Film Festival India “Goa” (20-28 Nov.2019/ India)
10-    Cairo International Film Festival (20-29 Nov.2019/ Egypt)
11-    Musee Mohamed VI de Rabat (22-23 Nov.2019/Morocco)
12-    Int’l Crime & Punishment F.F. (22-28 Nov.2019/ Turkey)
13-    UN Women (25Nov.-6 Dec.2019/ Afghanistan)
14-    Hainan Island International Film Festival (1-8 Dec, 2019/ China)
15-    Asian Int’l Film Festival Arizona (6-8 Dec,.2019/ USA)
16-    International Film Festival of Kerala (6-12 Dec,2019/ India)
17-    Dhaka International Film Festival (11-19 Jan.2020/Bangladesh)
18-    Women’s Int’l Film Festival in Kerala (21-25 Jan.2020/ India)
19-    International Film Festival Wurzburg (30 Jan.-2 Feb.2020/ Germany)
20-    Festival Int’l des Cinemas d’Asie de Vesoul (5-12 Feb.2020/ France)
21-    Mucem (15 Feb.2020/ France)
22-    Bengaluru International Film Festival (26 Feb.-4 March,2020/ India)
23-    Glasgow Film Festival (26 Feb.-8 March.2020/ UK)
24-    Stockholm Feminist Int’l Film Festival (27Feb.-8 March.2020/ Sweden)
25-    Regional Film Festival in Kerala (21-26 Feb. 2020/ India)
26-    Iranian Film Festival Zurich (28 May-3June,2020/ Switzerland)
27-    Espoo Cultural Centre (29 April 2020/ Finland)
28-    1st international film festival of south Asia- Seoul (IFFSA-SEOUL)(16-18 Oct. 2020/ Seoul, South Korea)
29-    Indie Meme Film Festival (IMFF) (16-18 & 23-25 April & 5-7 Nov. 2021/ Austin, Texas, US)
30-    Fundación IFF Panamá (26 March-1 April 2020/ Panama)
31-    6th edition of the International Human Rights Film Festival (20-25 Sep. 2021/Albania)
32-    Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (27 Oct.-24 Nov. 2021/ Hong Kong)
33-    Ciné-Festival en Pays de Fayence (11-15 Oct. 2021/ France)- Winner of «Cigale d’or» for the best film
34-    Princess of Asturias Foundation (A Cultural program)(14-23 Oct. 2021/ Spain)
35-    16th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival (TSAFF)(2 Oct. 2021/ Seattle, USA)
36-    Australian Cinemateque (18 Dec & 2 Feb. 2021/ Australia)
37-    Rome International FF (19-25 Nov. 2021/ Rome, Italy)
38-    Duhok International Film Festival (11-18 Nov. 2021/ Kurdistan of Iraq)
39-    OtherMovie Lugano Film Festival (18 - 24 Oct., 2021/ Lugano, Switzerland)
40-    Refugee Film Festival in Helsinki (13-15 Oct. 2021/ Cinema Orion Helsinki/ Finland)
41-    Sguardi Altrove International Women’s Film Festival (22- 30 Oct. 2021/Milan, Italy(
42-    Crime & Punishment FF (26 Nov.-2 Dec. 2021/ Turkey)
43-    International Exile Film Festival (12-18 Nov. 2021/ Sweden)
44-    Fondazione Imago Mundi (14 Dec. 2021/ Treviso, Italy)
45-    Museum of Contemporary Art (Nov. 2021/ Skopje, Macedonia)
46-    Donna Sostantivo Plurale (30 Nov. 2021/ Marche Region, Italy)
47-    17th Immaginaria International Film Festival of Lesbians & Other Rebellious Women (22-25 April 2022/ Italy)
48-    Cinema El-Housh (23 Dec., 2021- 29 Feb., 2022/ Saudi Arabia)
49-    University of Television and Film Munich (HFF)(9 Dec. 2021/ Munich, Germany)
50-    National Museum of Asian Art (10-26 Dec. 2021/ USA)

Persian Dialogue List
English Dialogue List


Spotting List (docx)




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