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What We Left Unfinished

Fall Grants 2018
Current project status: COMPLETED

Mariam Ghani / Feature Documentary / Afghanistan, United States of America, Qatar / 2019 / 72 min / Original Language: Dari / Interests: History, Art/Literature, Identity, Creative Documentary, Politics


‘What We Left Unfinished’ tells the incredible and mostly true story of five unfinished feature films from the Communist era in Afghanistan (1978-1991), and the people who went to crazy lengths to keep making films in a time when films were weapons, filmmakers became targets, and the dreams of constantly shifting political regimes merged with the stories told onscreen. Archival fictions, present-day recollections, and Afghanistans both imagined and real slip and slide into each other in a film that reminds us that nations are inventions, and films can reinvent them.


Mariam Ghani
Alysa Nahmias, Mariam Ghani

About the Director

Director and producer Mariam Ghani's films and installations have been presented at IFFR, CPH: DOX, Transmediale, Lincoln Center, MoMA, the National Gallery, Documenta, CCCB in Barcelona, Garage in Moscow, and the Liverpool, Sharjah and Gwangju Biennials. They are also in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Arab American National Museum, the Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE), and the Devi Art Foundation (India). She has won a number of awards and fellowships, most recently the Changemaker Storyteller Award from the Center for Constitutional Rights. 'What We Left Unfinished' is her first feature film.

Production Company Profile

Indexical Films is Mariam Ghani's umbrella for collaborative productions. As a visual artist and independent filmmaker, Mariam Ghani has produced or co-produced 27 short films and multiple-channel installations, six transmedia projects, live cinema events, and a number of traveling film programs, exhibitions, conferences, and discussions, with production partners including Alternet, Creative Time, Die Zeit, Asia Art Archive, Asian Contemporary Art Week, New York University, the Queens Museum of Art, the Sharjah Art Foundation, the Dhaka Art Summit, Secession in Vienna, the Wellcome Collection in the UK, the Rogaland Kunstsenter in Stavanger, and the Goethe Institute in Kabul. Her films and installations have been presented and collected by museums, festivals, and biennials across the USA, UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Her transmedia work has been nominated for the Ars Electronica award and preserved by the Rhizome ArtBase for Net Art Anthology, its history of net art in 100 works. Ghani has received a number of awards, grants and fellowships, most recently the inaugural Changemaker Storyteller Award from the Center for Constitutional Rights. Indexical Films is producing 'What We Left Unfinished' in cooperation with consulting producer Alysa Nahmias (Ajna Films), field producer Ali Latifi and Ryan Lee Gallery.

Awards and Festival History


"Berlinale 2019 (WP), Forum
San Francisco IFF 2019
Sheffield Doc Festival 2019
Rhode Island FF 2019
Goteborg FF 2020"


  • Main Contact

    Mariam Ghani

    Indexical Films

  • Production Company

    Indexical Films

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