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Here’s Why This Filmmaker Risked His Life to Film at This Ancient Buddhist City (with Exclusive Video)

Here's Why This Filmmaker Risked His Life to Film at This Ancient Buddhist City (with Exclusive Video)

The award-winning documentary Saving Mes Aynak was a hit at IDFA 2014 and Full Frame 2015, but more than just a documentary it’s also harnessing an activist campaign to save this ancient site.

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The film follows archaeologist Qadir Temori as he races against time to save this 5,000-year-old Buddhist archeological site in Afghanistan from imminent demolition. It’s endangered not only by religious fundamentalists, but by a Chinese mining company chasing corporate profits.

In traveling to the region on his own many times, “Saving Mes Aynak” director Brent E. Huffman risked his life at the hands of landlines and Taliban fighters. 

“It felt like my duty, my obligation, to tell this story and to spread the story about the imminent destruction of this incredible site,” said Huffman in a video on Indiegogo.

Through a non-traditional independent distribution release intended to maximize global exposure, Huffman and Kartemquin Films (“Hoop Dreams,” “Life Itself”) are urging the Afghanistan government and UNESCO to save the ancient site.

In order to gain attention to the issue, the film will screen worldwide on July 1st with VHX streaming access purchased only through Indiegogo. The filmmakers are trying to raise $50,000 in order to share the film and convey the importance of saving Mes Aynak. “The more funds we raise, the more people will see the film and know the beauty and importance of Mes Aynak, and the greater the chance of Mes Aynak being saved,” write the filmmakers on their Indiegogo page.

Watch the exclusive clip from “Saving Mes Aynak” below and visit the Indiegogo campaign page here.

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