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On Heels of Emmy Nomination, The Asia Foundation Announces Production of “The Observer”

San Francisco, October 6, 2006 — New documentary film presented by Foundation’s Digital Media Lab

Following its 2005 Emmy nomination for “Afghanistan Unveiled,” The Asia Foundation announced today that a new documentary film, “The Observer,” is currently in post-production. Produced and directed by Bay Area filmmaker John C. Karr, the film is set against the chaotic first parliamentary election in Afghanistan in more than 25 years—and revolves around the complex, dangerous work of young election observers from across Asia. A series of special preview test screenings of this work-in-progress will be held in conjunction with the 29th Mill Valley Film Festival in Mill Valley, California.

Muhammad “Badrul” Hisham Bin Ismail is a young Malaysian, Muslim man who hesitantly embarks on a risk-filled journey to join an election mission to Afghanistan in 2005. Skeptical yet curious, inexperienced but committed, Badrul is a newcomer to international election observation. His experiences, and that of the other young observers, will lead them all to face some hard truths about Afghanistan–and themselves.

“The Observer” was produced and directed by Karr and was shot entirely in Afghanistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Thailand. The film is a production of The Asia Foundation’s Digital Media Lab.

For more information, please visit www.observer-movie.com.

About the Digial Media Lab

The Digital Media Lab, founded by The Asia Foundation and based in San Francisco, identifies and presents relevant Asia Pacific region stories to audiences around the world. The lab generates compelling documentary film and broadband media, including a growing online archive of video interviews with Asian and U.S. leaders. A core objective of the Digital Media Lab is to encourage the use of digital media as a communications tool by Asia Foundation partners. In 2005, “Afghanistan Unveiled,” a documentary film launched by the Digital Media Lab and produced by Foundation-supported Afghan women journalists, received an Emmy nomination for Best Long Form Documentary.

For more information, please visit the Press Room.

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