What Tomorrow Brings

WHFF Winners Announced – What Tomorrow Brings

Cape Cod resident Beth Murphy won the Best of the Fest Audience Award for the third time for her documentary “What Tomorrow Brings,” about the first girls’ primary school in Afghanistan. The film also helped initiate the creation of the first college for women in Afghanistan. Her documentaries “Beyond Belief” and “The List” won the award in 2007 and 2012, respectively. For “What Tomorrow Brings,” Ms. Murphy embedded herself in the school and community starting in 2008, resulting in a most intimate look at what it means to be a girl growing up in Afghanistan today. From the school’s beginnings in 2009 to its first graduation in 2015, the film traces the interconnected stories of students, teachers, village elders, parents, and school founder Razia Jan. … LEARN MORE


HotDocs Unveils Full Lineup

Burning topics, boundary-pushing formats, and films by and about women take center stage at the 2016 edition of Hot Docs, North America’s premier doc-cinema festival and confab, which raised the curtain on its full 232-pic slate this morning in Toronto. … LEARN MORE


One U.S. woman’s vision is changing the lives of girls in rural Afghanistan – New York Times

One U.S. woman’s vision is changing the lives of girls in rural Afghanistan – New York Times Read The Article Here/


‘Twas the Night Before Graduation

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – This is a poem to celebrate the seven students who make up the first graduating class of the Zabuli Education Center — the first school for girls in a small village on the outskirts of Kabul Province. Here, they’ve defied all the odds to become one of the most successful … LEARN MORE


GroundTruth Films Producer Beth Murphy and Razia’s Ray Of Hope President and Founder Razia Jan discuss Razia’s schools for women in Afghanistan.

GroundTruth Films Producer Beth Murphy and Razia’s Ray Of Hope President and Founder Razia Jan discuss Razia’s schools for women in Afghanistan.


Ominous signs en route to a unique school for girls in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — En route to Kabul earlier this month, I met an elderly woman who was traveling from Omaha to visit her extended family in Afghanistan. When I told her I was on my way to work on a project focused on girls’ education, she shook her head at me and drew a finger across … LEARN MORE


KABUL DIARY

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It’s good to be back – and interesting to see how Kabul has changed since October 2013. Expats once considered Kabul “Kabubble,” and it’s safe to say that bubble has burst. It’s no joke that the Taliban and other groups are following through on their promises to target westerners. A German woman was kidnapped two days ago in broad daylight – snatched right out of her car. The abduction happened 15 minutes after a security warning went out from INSO (International NGO Safety Organization) about increased risk of abduction in that exact neighborhood.


Right now, in the small village of Deh’Subz, Afghanistan, the first private, free, rural women’s college in the nation’s history is being built

71-year-old Razia Jan, an educator who grew up in a more liberal Afghanistan before Taliban occupation. She later moved to the U.S. to attend Harvard University and then settled in … LEARN MORE


The Story Behind the Pictures

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This is the story behind my photo series – To Boston. From Kabul. With Love. When I left Boston for Afghanistan nearly 6 weeks ago, it was with some trepidation – the first I’ve felt after several filming trips here. Why now? Perhaps because the Afghanistan I’m visiting this Spring is not the same as the country I traveled to in 2001/2002, 2006 and 2009. It has experienced a decade of war, and I’ve seen firsthand how the outlook has changed among so many — from one of cautious hope for a better future to one of grim acceptance that this last painful, protracted period of violence and political upheaval may still not yield freedom from oppression in this country. Just last week I woke up to frantic emails and texts from home after the worst insurgent attack in the country in over a decade. “Yes, I’m fine. Safe.” I… LEARN MORE


God’s House

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Friday has become a sacred day for me here in Afghanistan. Not because it’s the Muslim holy day and we take part in any religious service, but because we’ve been able to help Razia Jan as she devotes her day to serving others. Again this morning, Razia and I made 40 halwa sandwiches (cream of wheat cereal mixed with cardamom, raisins, sugar and butter nestled in yeast-free paraki flatbread) that we delivered to people on the streets of Kabul. The halwa hot wraps went from our hands into those of many walks of life: women sitting nearly motionless in the road, cradling their babies; young boys busy collecting scrap from garbage heaps – hoping to trade it in for some money; and police officers working long hours at the checkpoint closest to our house (because as Kevin points out, there’s a little politics in everything, right?). I spent my entire… LEARN MORE


Afghan Journal 4 – March 28

This burqa cost $20.

We had an incredible experience with Razia Jan this morning feeding Kabul’s poorest with her sweet homemade halwa. Halwa is cream of wheat with cardamom, raisins, sugar, butter, oil (everything has oil, oil and more oil) – and she made an enormous pot. Our role? We helped her pull the little stems off the raisins. Razia then bought 40 big pieces of flatbread, put a heaping scoop of halwa in the middle of each one, and folded each end of the bread over on itself. These halwa pockets were then stacked on trays, and we drove around Kabul distributing them to the needy. It was such a special experience, and I have visions of replicating it for Boston’s homeless. Another memorable moment: I fell through a glass table while filming a school staff meeting. Everyone agrees that sitting on the glass table in the first place was a bad idea…. LEARN MORE


Afghan Journal 2

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At the beginning of the year I was introduced to the work of Malina Suliman, a fearless, young Afghan artist. It was her haunting graffiti of a skeleton shrouded by a burqa that made me feel the need to get in touch with her. I had to find a way to tell her the impact her work had on me. And I wanted to find a way to get a picture of this image and hang it in my office. The problem is that Malina (just 23yo)—and her bold graffiti—are in Kandahar. Birthplace to—and home of—the Taliban. It is one of the most dangerous areas in the entire country, a place where women suffer the worst abuses. Incredibly, however, today I discovered Malina’s signature motif here in Kabul – a second burqa-clad skeleton on a mud brick wall. When I do hang this in my office, it will be a… LEARN MORE


Afghan Journal 1

Kabul Arrival

We arrived in Afghanistan yesterday after a 38 hour journey from Addis Ababa. Our travel agent received this report (in part): Hi Allison, I’m sorry to report that we had a major problem during our travel. The suggested itinerary – which we booked – of arrival in Dubai at 3am and departure for Kabul at 4:20am was an absolute impossibility. No way that can be done, and it should never be proposed to any future travelers…. There were serious carry-on weight restrictions in Dubai, and our four personal bags (a knapsack and camera bag each) had to be cut down to two. As these bags carried our laptops/remote editing stations, camera equipment, external hard drives, still cameras and lenses, it was difficult to decide what or how to part with any of it. Maybe we should have taken the tact of the overbearing Saudi man who when ordered to hand… LEARN MORE


Chicken & Egg Selects WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS

Chicken & Egg Pictures, an organization dedicated to supporting women filmmakers with a social mission, has selected our film, WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS, as one of this years’ grantees. In addition to funding, Chicken & Egg provides valuable mentorship for awarded filmmakers. We are incredibly thankful for their support on this film as we continue through the production phase, and we’re looking forward to working with their team to bring this important story to life! Check out this short trailer for the film – and sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of the page to stay up-to-date on our progress!


CNN highlights crisis in girl’s education in Afghan

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CNN interviews director Beth Murphy about our most recent work WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS as the fight for girl’s education in Afghanistan continues. Read Article


An Interview with Kevin Belli

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Recently, we sat down with our Director of Photography & Senior Editor, Kevin Belli to pick his brain on how he got his start at Principle Pictures and all that he wishes to accomplish. What inspired you to get involved in documentary filmmaking? Seeing documentary films for the first time, films like Don’t Look Back and Crumb and Gimme Shelter, made me view documentaries as an actual art form. Not only did the films really inspire me, but I realized it was the avenue to see more of the world and be able to film real stories, and that was a lot more appealing to me than creating something fictional or from a script. The truth is stranger than fiction, right? How did you begin to work with Principle Pictures? Ten years ago when I was working as a news editor, Beth was looking for an assistant editor. When the… LEARN MORE