In 2015, after Hassan Fazili’s documentary Peace aired on Afghan national television, the Taliban assassinated the film’s main subject and put a price on Hassan’s head. Hassan looked at his wife and his daughters, and he knew they had to flee their home. Over the course of their multi-year saga in search of safety, the family grasped onto the only means they had to assert control over their situation: their camera-phones. Hassan and his wife Fatima are both filmmakers, and they are educating their daughters and encouraging them to be artists. The whole family shot this autobiographical film, which began when they sought and were rejected for refugee protection and follows them along the notorious Balkan smuggling route. As they experienced increasingly degrading circumstances, the family latched on to filmmaking as a way to not just survive, but retain their humanity. Midnight Traveler is a gripping vérité story made by a family on the run. Their unique access and artistic vision provide an intimate portrait of a loving family and the myriad fellow travelers they meet on their odyssey.
Hassan Fazili has developed theater plays, documentaries, short films, and several popular television serials in Afghanistan. In 2011, he was selected by the British Council to attend Sheffield/DocFest for documentary filmmaking networking and training. His films Mr. Fazili’s Wife and Life Again! both push the envelope on issues of women’s, children’s and disability rights in Afghanistan, and have won awards at numerous international festivals. He also worked as a Location Manager for Feo Aladag’s In Between Worlds, which premiered at Berlinale 2014. His documentary Peace in Afghanistan, made for national television, profiled Taliban commander Mullah Tur Jan, who laid down arms in favor of a peaceful civilian life.
Festivals and awards
Best Documentary – Stockholm Film Festival 2019
Best Documentary Feature – San Francisco Film Festival 2019
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award – Sundance 2019
Midnight Traveler (doc.)
Director: Hassan Fazili
Country: USA, Qatar, UK, Canada
Language: Persian, English, Turkish, Bulgarian
Cast: Hassan Fazili, Nargis Fazili, Zahra Fazili
Production: Old Chilly Pictures
Europe – Zone of Change