2011 Project

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2011 Project

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PROJECT Scarlet Poppy (HD(Red) / Color / 90min / Afghanistan, India, USA) NO 25
PRODUCTION Barmak Film, Scarlet Poppy LLC
PROJECT STATUSScript Development
Peter Bussian is a photographer and a filmmaker. He has been working on international
development, war and refugees for many years. His clients are UN agencies, NGOs and
magazines and newspapers such as Paris-Match and the New York Times. Bussian has worked
extensively in Afghanistan since 2001 when he was invited by the Taliban to `come and show the
world the real Afghanistan`. He has held solo photo exhibitions at the UN and several prominent
galleries. In 2007, he starred in Afghan Director Siddiq Barmak’s award winning feature film, "Opium
War." Bussian studied film in the graduate school of Columbia University in New York and at
Anthropology Film Center in Santa Fe, NM. He received a BA in philosophy from the University of
Colorado. He lives in New York.
Nic, a private U.S. contractor, has spent years working in Afghanistan and has become
increasingly jaded by the violence, hypocrisy and futility he has witnessed. Divorced, alone, and
with little more than a tenuous long distance correspondence with his daughter, Nic is a man
without a home, doing work that has lost all meaning.

Shakeila, an Afghan widow, mother of two, and doctor, lives in the conservative Pashtun
heartland and runs a clinic. She finds herself caught up in a Taliban-controlled culture so
repressive that it is increasingly making her life and aspirations impossible.

One day, Nic and Shakeila accidentally gaze into each other’s the eyes at a check point.
Shakeila is quickly covered with a burkha and Nic is left with the image of the only part of her body
he can see - her scarlet painted toes. Later they meet again and what passes unspoken between
Nic and Shakeila cannot be denied by either. A latent jealousy from a local drug lord leads to a love
triangle and an almost inevitable conclusion.

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