Afghan-American Human Rights Activist, Author and Filmmaker

Sara Assefi #humanactivist #afghanistan #afghan #refugees #iamyoufilm #iamyou #sshadoow #saraassefi #sonianasserycole #filmdirector #movies #hollywood #afghanamerican #1stgen

In 2018 I had the incredible pleasure of getting tagged on facebook on Sonia Nassery Cole, Oscar’s event. An Afghan American author, filmmaker, humanitarian, and activist who founded the Afghanistan World Foundation and directed film, “I AM YOU” (2019). “I AM YOU” is an independent feature film based on the stories of the world’s many refugees, their love for people and life, and the conditions that precipitated their extraordinarily heroic journeys. We get the chance to hear Sonia laugh and cry as she reflects upon the pivotal experiences that have put her on the path to touch so many lives through her activism and creative works. We move on to the childhood experiences that shaped who she is and the absolutely necessary traits to have as a filmmaker. Sonia also shares with us how she manages to pull out the most excellent emotional performances from her actors, and the KEY difference between an Oscar-winning performance and a failure. Next, we get into Sonia's incredible story of writing a nine-page letter to President Ronald Reagan at just 17 years old and the world-changing events that followed. Finally, we talk about her experience and challenges, especially as a woman, directing and filming in the war-zone of Afghanistan as well as what the film is about. Memorable QuotesMaking a good film"I want to make films about something I know about. I don't think people should make films or tell stories or write books about something they don't know. You have to know, what is your passion? What excites you? What makes you cry? What makes you feel? If I feel all those things, I promise you, I'm going to make you feel it.""The camera is a very sensitive instrument. You don't have to say a word. I look at your eyes through my lens and I can tell if you're lying to me or if you're really feeling something, and that's what makes the difference between a good movie and a bad movie? That’s for the audience to decide.

In February of 2020, I had the pleasure of working with Sonia Nassery Cole as a client. We created Sonia based of who she is and what her event based on, designed an amazing handmade Burqa cape, the details in the storytelling is an Afghan women wearing a Burqa, removing the front panel wear to visually see the clients face. The back indicated V-shape river in Kabul Afghanistan where a women who got stoned and lit on fire dragged into the river. The hand craftsmanship was used from recycled pillowcases that was used to home decor but all refugees had to sleep on, leaving implants of the journey it took to get wore by the women who has been the voice of Afghan women. The day I met Sonia was the day my life changed as a 1st gen Afghan-American in having hope for being a voice for our people through fashion. Since Corona virus Sonia and I were talking and wanted to create a visual timeline for the world who aren’t aware of the Afghan people. we worked on a video stating history, present and evenually future. Using Eshan Aman an artist singer from Afghanistan and Natalie Cole (rest in peace) song they record together for the movie Black Tulip. It’s been an amazing experience working with Sonia Nassery Cole and have learned so much for a women I can sit here today and follow as a mentor. Thank You Sonia Nassery Cole for being the voice of Afghan women we have today.

Sara Assefi

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