Bomanbridge Launches Global Docu-Feature for the 20 Year Anniversary of the Afghanistan War

Singapore, 15th April, 2021: Distribution and production company Bomanbridge Media has bolstered its global content offering with the acquisition of the extraordinary documentary feature film My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan (1×90/2×45’). Bomanbridge will exclusively handle world-wide distribution, launching it officially as part of their MIPTV 2021 slate.

Directed by award-winning filmmakers Phil Grabsky and Shoaib Sharifi with UK’s leading independent production company Seventh Art Productions, My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan is an epic coming-of-age documentary that follows the mischievous 8-year-old boy Mir as he grows into a father of three over the course of 20 troubled years in Afghanistan.

Grabsky and Sharifi were the first filmmakers into Afghanistan after the 2001 fall of the Taliban and have been filming there ever since. It is a unique and remarkable 20-year project in extraordinarily difficult circumstances that has resulted in a feature film that gives audiences the opportunity to watch Mir grow up in one of the most embattled corners of the globe, capturing exclusive footage over the twenty years since the American/NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 in the wake of 9/11.

This flagship feature is not only an ideal film marking the 20-year anniversary of 9/11 on a deeply human level, but also asks what the result of 20 years of international involvement has been since the October 2001 “fall” of the Taliban.

A staggering US $2.5 trillion has been spent, and 157,000 people have died, while some progress has been made. Alongside that broader context sits the deeply personal, funny, dramatic and surprising story of Mir and his family. Nothing like this has ever come out of Afghanistan – indeed, it is a rare film from any country.

The documentary comes after the success of two earlier multi award-winning films covering Mir and his family; The Boy Who Plays On The Buddhas Of Bamiyan (2003) & The Boy Mir – Ten Years In Afghanistan (2011), which were also created by filmmakers Phil Grabsky and Shoaib Sharifi, and broadcast throughout the world on key platforms. Through My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan, viewers will have the opportunity to follow Mir’s entire incredible story from 2001 to 2021.

As President Biden announces the full withdrawal of US troops by the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we can only wonder how life in Afghanistan is now and what is likely to happen. Our film, which wraps filming in May, will answer these questions.

The film was produced in partnership with French/German public broadcasters ARTE and WDR and pre-sold to SVT in Sweden. The UK broadcaster will be announced shortly. Bomanbridge has globally launched the show this week at the digital MIPTV event and the film will be featured at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival amongst others and further key broadcasters to be confirmed soon.

Sonia Fleck, CEO of Bomanbridge Media says, “We worked with the filmmakers previously on sales for ‘The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan’ and we are honoured to be entrusted with the global distribution of this long-awaited film.  So many broadcasters asked, “What became of Mir”?   Now that President Biden officially announced the full withdrawal of American troops by the 20th anniversary of 9/11 later this year, our film really does give viewers the chance to see what the last 20 years have been like for Afghanistan, through the eyes of Mir, a young boy during the 2001 invasion, now a man trying to make a life for himself in the aftermath.” 

Phil Grabsky, Executive Producer and Director, adds, “In my career I have directed or produced over 250 films but this one is undoubtedly the most significant, dramatic and unique. Afghanistan is a hugely important story – there are few countries that haven’t sent soldiers or spent billions there in recent years or been in receipt of Afghan refugees. Our film is unquestionably the most far-reaching in examining, from a deeply human perspective, what has been the impact. I, and my Afghan co-director (the film is being considered as Afghanistan’s entry as International Film to next year’s Oscars) have been on quite a journey making the film. However, that is nothing compared to Mir’s own tale, once a cheeky lad living in a cave now working as a cameraman chasing down suicide bombings in Kabul, but always with a smile on his lips and a glint in his eye. The choice of distributor is critical in the life of a film and we didn’t hesitate to work once again with Bomanbridge. Their efficiency, enthusiasm and experience are continually impressive.”

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