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‘Martyrs of Metal’ Chronicles a Metal Band in Afghanistan Railing Against the Taliban

'Martyrs of Metal' Chronicles a Metal Band in Afghanistan Railing Against the Taliban

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Martyrs of Metal

Logline: As thousands of Afghans wash ashore in Europe everyday, were the past 13 years of international troops dying and billions of aid being pumped into Afghanistan all a dream? This is the raw story of how Afghanistan fell apart, told through the Afghan youth.

Elevator Pitch: 
This is a raw, gritty film about the metal/alternative music scene in Kabul, Afghanistan. The film follows one band in particular – District Unknown. 7 years, from the birth of the band all the way through to their death and subsequent exodus to the West. In between there is terrible gigs with an audience of 7, festivals of 2,500 people, band members at suicide bombings, not to mention America’s longest war, the Taliban and a lot of music-thirsty Afghan youth stage diving.

Production Team:
Director: Travis Beard
Producer: Leslie Knott & Travis Beard
Editor: Craig Goode & Travis Beard
Writer: Daniel Fermer & Travis Beard
Soundtrack: Massa Cygnet
Animation: Mixed Monkey Media & Jules Calis

Leslie Knott – Her first film, “Out of the Ashes,” aired on BBC Storyville, was distributed world wide through Roco Films, and won multiple awards. In 2013, she was nominated for an Academy Award for “Buzkashi Boys” and in 2014, she was nominated for an Emmy for “Kim Vs. Kabul.” In 2014 her film credits included: “The Last Caliph of Afghanistan,” “Arte,” “The Billion Pound Base,” Channel 4, and multiple collaborations with Angelina Jolie and UNHCR on stories from refugees in Malta, Lebanon and Thailand.

About the Film:
In spite of having made many of short films, this has been my first of feature length. I never imagined I would spent seven years making a film. When I first picked up the camera it was only to document the moment, because I thought it was the just thing to do. But as the band, my investment in their futures, and of course the story, developed, I realised that this would be bigger than anything else I had undertaken before. But over time it was clear to me that I was there to document history for generations to come.

Current Status: We have five weeks of final left, two weeks of post: grading, sound. All is self funded. We have editing funds, but not for post.

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