Academy-award winning actress and director Angelina Jolie sent a message of support to the director, cast and crew of ‘HAVA, MARYAM, AYESHA’, the first independent All-Afghan movie which premiers today in Venice.

Directed by first-time female Afghan director Sahraa Karimi, HAVA, MARYAM, AYESHA is the story of three Afghan women from different social backgrounds, living in Kabul, who are facing big challenges 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, when she 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.

HAVA, MARYAM, AYESHA is produced by female producer and sales agent Katayoon Shahabi from NOORI.

Karimi said “We would like to thank Alberto Barbera and the festival of Venice for inviting my movie and giving me a platform to bring attention to the issues my country is facing – in particular the need to guarantee fundamental women’s rights in Afghanistan. Gender equality enables a country to gain prosperity and is fundamental for global peace.”

Meanwhile, Academy-award winning actress and director Angelina Jolie sent a message of support to the director, cast and crew of the film.

She said “This delicately made and moving film chronicles the lives of young women in contemporary Afghanistan. It shows the grace, beauty and spirit of Afghan women as they navigate marriage, love, friendship, family and motherhood. Every film made in Afghanistan is a triumph against the odds. At a time when the future of Afghanistan is hanging in the balance, it reminds us of all that is at stake for millions of Afghan women, who deserve the freedom, independence and safety to make their own choices – in their own homes, and throughout society as a whole.”