Yama Rauf- See director BIO
Yama was born on November 1, 1987 in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan. At that time, the civil war in Afghanistan was beginning to reach its peak.
Yama began school in Jawzjan city. He was a war born baby and peace was only to be found in old photos and textbooks.
Yama was just nine years old when the Taliban took control of 90 percent of Afghan territory. Movies, music, painting and other forms of art were banned. The education system and books of the previous government were boycotted. A small hidden storage of banned textbooks accumulated in his apartment. The books included fiction, poetry and painting. He gradually started to read the subjects of his interests, and he began writing poetry. His first poem was about a waterfall - he showed it his father and received warm encouragements.
Due to financial problems, his family opened a small grocery shop. Yama had to abandon part of his childhood life and do the shopkeeping. However, he had no interest in it - he was spending his time there writing poetry, stories and doing drawings.
Yama was beaten up by taliban teachers several times at school for drawing living creatures, but he didn't quit doing it. He was also using the edges of book paper to animate the drawings. Perhaps it was his first days as a filmmaker, when he in the late 90ís used a broken triangular mirror from a military tank as a camera to play a director role, and to direct his playmates.
In 2001, the Taliban were defeated in a joint combat operation by Afghan and American forces. This was the first sense of freedom Yama experienced in his life, but it was just a feeling, because the war was not over yet. However, Yama continued to get more education, and his efforts were supported by his parents. On his own, he started to learn English and using a computer. He also learned how to do digital graphics.
Yama entered the University of Radio and Television Journalism in 2007 in Mazar-e Sharif city. He applied to study there because journalism related to the field of film and multimedia. This is where he got into the professional art of filmmaking, directing, scriptwriting and narration.
He made his first student documentary film in 2010 with his friend and classmate Ghafor Ibram, called "The Heartbroken". The University met their efforts with great appreciation and acclaim. The theme of the film revolves around a religious festival called Ashura, where mourners beat themselves with razors and chains. Yama had the responsibilities of directing, narrating, and shooting the film.
In 2011 Yama and Ibram wanted to build a media production company together, because they had all necessary facilities.They eventually established the company and named it Koroosh. Yama and Ibram had officially started their own business.
In late 2011, they produced an official short film for the Nawruzi film festival in Mazar-i-Sharif. The jury consisted of popular Afghan filmmakers - one of them was the director Siddiq Barmak, a winner of the Golden Globe awards for the best foreign film, Osama.
Yama was not the director, but he took on all other production responsibilities. Yama received the awards for Best Film Editor and Best Sound. The film received 5 awards in total, including the Best Director award and Best Leading Actor award. The other participants were stunned by their achievement.
In 2013, Yama started his job as general program director and art adviser of the Arezo TV channel. He produced many programs, including documentaries and sports, and he received a lot of encouragement and praise.
In 2015, a Women's Rights festival was sponsored by the US consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif. The festival organizers asked Yama to make a short film for the competition. This was the first opportunity for him to officially direct a film. Yama made the short film NO WOMAN and won the prize for best film.
Not long after, Afghanistan Women's International Film Festival proposed for Yama to send the film to the festival. This made him count on his film even more, and he began to send NO WOMAN to international film festivals and exhibitions. As a result, NO WOMAN got qualified to participate in film festivals in Canada twice, in America, in Australia, in Russia, in Romania, in Poland, in Italy and in Iran. The short has also been selected for exhibition in Galleri Heike Arndt DK in Berlin, Germany and Kettinge, Denmark.
Yama had not expected NO WOMAN to go this far, or for it to receive so much recognition. The film has won two international awards, the Audience Choice: Experimental Film from WVN film festival in America and the Special Mention Mediterranean Prize in Italy. Mediterranean Prize has not been registered, according to festival rules, he had to collect the prizes, in the award ceremony.