Afghan actor Salim Shaheen and “Nothingwood” director Sonia Kronlund on location in Afghanistan.
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In the hierarchy of world cinema, Hollywood is at the top.Shaheen, who is 51 or 53 – he says he's not quite sure himself – is the standout revelation of this year's Cannes film festival.A gonzo director who has made 111 – not always good – films on a shoestring in a country where just watching one can get you killed, he and his endearingly eccentric band of actors are the stars of the festival's hit documentary.Shaheen said he was sure his new film would impress the Cannes jury.Shaheen acts, directs, produces and sings in his movies, with "live" music on set coming from his mobile phone.Shaheen may be larger than life but his leading lady – who is a man – nearly steals the show.Kronlund said Shaheen – whom she described an "incredibly brave man of honor" – is highly traditional himself.
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