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NEW YORK, NY (SMI-GLOBAL-ENTERTAINMENT JUNE 7-JUNE 18, 2023)-The Tribeca Festival concluded its 22nd annual edition in sensational style-after featuring over 250+ films (Feature, Viewpoints, Shorts, Documentary & Special screenings), and 600+ events (Audio Storytelling,Talks, Games, Music & others), during eleven days slate that included a diverse line-up of emerging talents and renowned storytellers from around the world.

The winners of the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival Storytellers Competition winners were announced: 

During the 11-days slate of the festival, Starlight Illustrated had the opportunity to attend or watch the World premiere of the Short " Ayenda" and find our review below:


" Ayenda " :Is a political, drama and thriller short film based in a true story where
 Under-18,  Afghanistan  Women's national Football(Soccer) team maneuver to escape their homeland alive after its capital Kabul is taken over by the Taliban Islamic group. 


Cast: Director Marie Margolius & Producer Marie Margolius, Connor Schell

Though the movie is over, their story is far from it. This tale of the Afghan Women’s National

Soccer Team is amazing. Finally able to get together and play, then, the Taliban are in town,

the mass exodus begins. These player had waited many long years to be able to play, then to

play organized and recognized, only to lose it all again in the blink of an eye through no fault of their own. They made a few futile attempts to get out, foiled by other things going on locally.

Something as simple as an app on a phone was key in getting them out. Stopped before they

began to assemble, left out in the open very near an airport and the enemy when curfew was

in effect, they risked so much to get themselves and later families out. A great movie that has

you on edge for a good part of the film.

For a generation of Afghan women, education and opportunities were a given. Growing up post-Taliban meant they enjoyed a freedom their mothers never did. But that all changed in August 2021, when the Taliban regained power in Kabul. One group of women saw what was coming and made the difficult decision to leave their home and their families and, in the dark of night, escape for the security of a better life anywhere but there. Through the harrowing first person stories of the young women who make up the Afghan Women’s Soccer team, we experience the immediate day to day and personal impact of two decades of American foreign policy decisions (and failures).


REVIEW: AYENDA Short Film World Premiere
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