UWS lecturer wins Australian Directors Guild Award

Dr Amin Palangi from University of Western Sydney has been awarded an Australian Directors Guild Award for his film Love Marriage in Kabul.

Love Marriage in Kabul (opens in a new window) follows the extraordinary quest of an Afghan-Australian woman, Mahboba Rawi, as she passionately negotiates and challenges old traditions to make a marriage of love in Kabul.

The award for Best Direction in a Documentary Feature comes after the film took out the People's Choice Award at the Sydney Film Festival, and was named a finalist at the Walkley and Film Critics Awards.

Dr Palangi, from the UWS School of Humanities and Communication Arts, says he's spent years wanting to make a film about Mahboda, who raises money to provide support and education to more than two thousands orphans and widows in Afghanistan.

"It was in early 2009 that Mahboba told me that she was going back to Afghanistan to attend to her projects, one of which was about a marriage between an orphan and a girl who lived next to the orphanage," he says.

"This was the story I wanted to tell, a love story. I believed through this universal theme I would be able to highlight the effectiveness of Mahboba's work that goes beyond providing food and shelter, as well as sharing a human story that would allow the audiences to identify with."

Dr Palangi says having been to Afghanistan previously, he was very familiar with the challenges of shooting a film there.

"I had been arrested and put in prison, slapped at the border crossing by security guards and generally been under constant surveillance by the secret police," he says.

"Added to this was the worry about my wife and co-producer Sanaz who, to be honest, seemed a lot more courageous than me."

The Dean of the School of Humanities and Communication Arts Peter Hutchings has paid tribute to Dr Palangi.

"On behalf of the School I'd like to congratulate Dr Palangi for his wonderful film and the recognition it's received."


14 May 2014

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer