Saving Mes Aynak documentary expected in premiere by end of 2014
By Ghanizada - Thu Jul 03 2014, 1:10 am
The documentary will feature the destruction of the Buddhist city which remained undiscovered for 2,000 years and survived revolution, invasion and war.
The documentary has been brought to the American non-profit documentary film production – Kartemquin Films for editing purposes.
The shooting of the documentary film has been done by director/producer Brent Huffman who is a documentary maker and film professor at Northwestern University.
Huffman has been independently shooting at Mes Aynak site in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan since 2011.
“As the premiere destination for complex social issue films that intend on making a global impact, Kartemquin is the dream home for Saving Mes Aynak,” Huffman quoted in a press release by Kartemquin Films said.
Mes Aynak is home to one of the world’s largest untapped copper deposits — worth more than $100 billion and astonishing remains of an ancient Buddhist city.
Chinese state-owned China Metallurgical Group Corporation (M.C.C.) was granted the copper mining rights at Mes Aynak by government in 2007. (Photo www.savingmesaynak.com)
Golden Buddhist statues, dozens of stupas and fragile Buddhist manuscripts buried within temples, were uncovered with the excavation works for mining in 2009 where only 10% was uncovered while 90 percent of the site remains underground and unseen.
But it is very likely the total destruction of the site for mining will begin later this year, in a tragedy that echoes the notorious destruction of the Buddhas at Bamiyan in 2001. (Photo www.savingmesaynak.com)
“The international team of archaeologists have been racing against time, but they’re only able to save a small fraction of Mes Aynak’s smaller antiquities,” Huffman says. “Its loss is an international tragedy. Being there is like touching history.”
The documentary film receive grant funding from the John t. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation this year.
Justine Nagan, Kartemquin’s Executive Director said, “We are delighted to bring Brent and his film to Kartemquin.”
“Its memorable characters and unique narrative has enormous potential to raise awareness around this important issue. Brent has already built a massive online community around Saving Mes Aynak; we aim to help him deliver a film that will galvanize action and bring attention to this unusual problem in war-torn Afghanistan,” Nagan said.
A new website (www.savingmesaynak.com) has also been launched by Huffman and Kartemquin which features photos of the many relics discovered while filming, as well as links to numerous articles about the fight to save the site from destruction, including a New York Times Op-Doc he produced on Mes Aynak in 2013.