Police detective series "Commissar Amanullah"
The police detective series "Commissar Amanullah" was initiated by the European Police Mission EUPOL Afghanistan, produced by Saba Film, and financed by the German Foreign Office through its implementing partner GIZ. The first shooting started in January 2012. The first out of 20 episodes have been aired on Ariana Television Network (ATN) in June 2012. In its first season, the show treated its viewers to fast-and-furious action and a behind-the-scenes accounts of the professional work of a criminal investigation unit in Afghanistan.
Director Saba Sahar herself took over one of the lead roles: the Head of a crime screne investigation unit. Sahar has been on active police duty for 18 years herself. This gives her credibility in a male-dominated society. In Kabul she is famous and highly respected. Her show comes with a mission, Sahar explains: “We want to build trust amongst our people in our police force, that they are capable and work professionally. I also want to encourage young men and women to join the police. My hope is to change the mindset of Afghan people by showing the daily life of Afghan policemen and women. I hope there will be less resistence within traditional families to allow their daughters to join the police.”
But first of all, it is about entertainment. In Afghanistan, where two third of the population is still illiterate, television has become a huge factor in mass communication. “This is the best way to reach millions of viewers”, says Emal Zaki who acts as the brave, honest and loyal police detective Amanullah. He is confident that the show will be a success: “Our show will be different and tougher than in Western countries: In Afghanistan, the Afghan police is in direct fight not only with ordinary criminals but also with insurgents and terrorists.” To make the show as authentic and realistic as possible, the Afghan Ministry of Interior supports Saba Film Production Company with real uniforms, cars and equipment of the Afghan National Police. Many of the scenes are shot in actual police stations or headquarters in Kabul.
Saba Film Production Company: Saba Sahar has worked 18 years as a police officer before she launched her own film production company in 2004. Since then she has produced several feature films, among others “Qanoon” (The Law) and “Qasam” (The Oath), focusing on violence against Afghan women and on police empowerment. The Berlin Film Festival BERLINALE 2011 screened the film “Dream factory Kabul”, a portrait of the actress, director and police officer Saba Sahar. http://www.sabafilm.com.af/