Chichester film festival shares tale of first all-female orchestra in Afghanistan

Sisters, the story of the first all-female orchestra in Afghanistan, gets its UK premiere at the Chichester International Film Festival.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 2:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 2:10 pm
Tony Klinger
Tony Klinger

It will be shown at 1.30pm Monday 16th August 2021 in The Studio, Chichester New Park Cinema, New Park Rd, Chichester PO19 7XY with an introduction by producer Tony Klinger, followed by a Q & A at around 2.55pm.

The documentary feature film Sisters is a real-life story. It investigates the lives of the Zohra members, the first all-female orchestra in Afghanistan’s and their two young leaders: Negin Khpalwak and Zarifa Adiba.

Sisters follows UK musician Dan Blackwell to Kabul to meet Afghanistan's first-ever female orchestra Zohra, the first female orchestra in a country where it is forbidden for women and girls to play music. Every member of this orchestra has faced terrible adversity to play music. Dan learned about Zohra online and got in contact with them first via Facebook and then followed with an email.

Dan Blackwell is a travelling musician and film maker from the UK. After working in the industry as a session guitarist, producer and composer, Dan launched a project called 4bar Collective. The aim was to collaborate with large numbers of musicians, recording four bars of music from each to create original tracks and a network of cross promotion for all the artists involved.

Negin Khpalwak is the conductor of Zohra. At 20 years old she is the oldest member and the leader of the Zohra Ensemble. She sticks with and leads Zohra as the country’s first female conductor despite multiple death threats and family disputes. Zarifa is nowhere to be seen until Dan tracks her down. Discovering her precarious situation, Dan stays with her as she prepares to flee Afghanistan leaving close friends and family behind.

Tony Klinger is the executive producer of Sisters. Tony Klinger is an award-winning writer, and filmmaker. His career follows in the footsteps of his legendary film producer father, the late Michael Klinger, who made films such as the classic ‘Get Carter’ starring Michael Caine, voted the best British film ever by Time Out magazine and Tarantino’s favourite British movie. During a stellar career as a film maker Klinger was a producer or senior executive for films ‘Gold’, ‘Shout at the Devil’, ‘Rachel’s Man’, ‘The Barcelona Kill’ and many others, working with a galaxy of stars such as Lee Marvin, Roger Moore, Michael Caine, The Who, Vincent Price, Mickey Rooney, and Deep Purple.