Afghan Star is Havana Marking’s first feature documentary, shot over the 4 months in Kabul. She has produced TV docs (both factual entertainment and one-off polemics) for over 10 years now, although directing is relatively new to her: before AS she directed The Crippendales (2007)– a 30min film about the first troupe of disabled strippers winning the Channel 4@Sheffield scheme for New Talent. In 2005 she made the Great Relativity Show, a series of animated shorts (3MW) that explained the Theory of Relativity. These won a Pirelli Science award.
While she was producing, she worked on some of the most successful UK formats and films: The F Word, Michael Palin: Himalaya, River Cottage, No Going Back, War On Terra – What Would Jesus Drive?
Phil Stebbing cut his teeth as a Producer/Director on mainstream TV documentaries, working on projects for the BBC and Channel 4. As the industry has developed he has trained additionally as a skilled camera operator and editor. His wide experience meant he was perfect for the observational style of Afghan Star. He was able to follow action in the most extraordinary circumstances.
Phil likes a challenge, hence Afghanistan, and a cause, such as fish piracy and marine conservation: his film ‘The Deadline’ is currently circulating the festivals. Phil is also creating The Lifeline, an Eco facebook for communities to build and support free and sustainable communities.
Editor Ash Jenkins has achieved a great deal for his young age of 26. His most recent work includes feature documentary 'Afghan Star' for More 4 and Nick Broomfield's drama feature 'Battle For Haditha'. Both screened at IDFA, and Afghan Star is selected to be part of the Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition in January.
During his Film School studies in Wales, Ash spent time in Africa and made films for Amnesty International, ITN and Channel 4 News - documenting themes of war, poverty and struggle. In 2004, his filmmaking was noticed by acclaimed British Director Nick Broomfield and the duo started working closely on some very exciting projects, 'His Big White Self' and 'Ghosts'.
Ash's work has continued to not go unnoticed and in July he was nominated as for the Broadcast Hotshot 2008 section, spotlighting the brightest talent each year. Broomfield said "Ash is unbelievably fast with the equipment. He's the only editor I've ever worked with who can edit as fast as he can think."
Ash is a mature Editor with passion, drive and an amazing aptitude for creative and thought-provoking storytelling. He is currently working on some key projects as well as managing his Post start-up company Roundtable Films.
KABOORA Production (formerly Aria) is the leading audio and video production company in Afghanistan, producing an astonishing 14 hours of content a day.
KABOORA Production is responsible for content for various media entities including TOLO TV (Afghanistan’s most popular television network), LEMAR TV (Afghanistan’s third most popular television station), ARMAN FM (Afghanistan’s third most popular radio network), commercial advertising for private and government clients and documentaries for UN and other entities.
Over the last few years, KABOORA Production's capacity and expertise has grown substantially. Recently KABOORA Production was involved as the logistic support partner for DreamWorks for the film of the very popular book, The Kite Runner.
In addition, KABOORA Production has been responsible for production of a number of ads for Etisalat Afghanistan, the Afghan National Army, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Afghan National Development Strategy and various others.
KABOORA Production’s Raz Hae Een Khana (The Secrets of This House) took out the Special Award at the Seoul Drama Awards in October 2008. Screened on TOLO TV, the nation’s most popular TV station, is the first drama series ever entirely written, acted, filmed, produced and broadcast by Afghans, for Afghans in Afghanistan. It was selected for a Special Prize amongst 152 entries from 33 countries around the world.
ROAST BEEF PRODUCTIONS was formed in 2006 by Martin Herring, Ian Wright and Mike Lerner to produce international documentaries for US and UK broadcasters.
They currently produce a range of travel, observational and arts documentaries for Travel Channel and Channel 4.
Martin Herring has directed some of Channel 4 and Discovery Channel's most successful and controversial documentaries including "The Black Widow", "What Would Jesus Drive?", "Beijing Swings" and "Planet Soccer".
Mike Lerner has spent 20 years producing highly acclaimed, high-rating documentaries for BBC, Channel 4, FIVE and Discovery – blockbuster biographies include ‘Picasso’, ‘Gauguin’, ‘Van Gogh’ and ‘The Sistine Chapel’ – architecture includes ‘Supercities’ and ‘The Stirling Prize’ – and travel documentaries include ‘Beijing Swings’, ‘Turkmenistan – The Happy Dictator’ and the Muslim World – ‘Paradise Found’.