Wakhan (2009)

Short, but perfectly formed. This film is full of hope, love and Afghanistan.

Kyszytof Samborski is a hero to this festival. Totally oblivious to the traditional ‘off-the-beaten-track’ destinations he and his buddy Iza head for Afghanistan. Despite the journey being everything, their story only starts once their motorbikes have already ridden 7000 miles from their native Poland to the Wakhan district of this sensational nation. Sometimes known as ‘the panhandle’, this roof of the world wilderness was hewn out of the Russian and British empires back in 1880s thus creating a viable buffer zone and ending the ‘Great Game’. The Wakhan valley is so totally not on the backpacker trail and so hugely unvisited (even by Afghans!) that the only way to viably penetrate it is by dirt-bike. This film is perfect for us because it shows that there is spectacular beauty and promise to be found in notionally, the most turbulent of places.