Born: September 07, 1962
Date of Birth: September 7, 1962
Growing up in Afghanistan, Siddiq Barmak dreamed of being a cinema projectionist, but he eventually realized that he wanted to have a more hands-on role in filmmaking, and in 1987, he got his masters in film direction from the Moscow University. He returned to Afghanistan where in 1988, he made his first documentary short film, called The Disaster of Withering, and in 1991, he filmed his first full-length documentary: The Hadith of Conquer. From 1992 to 1996 Siddiq was head of the Afghan Film Organization while living in Kabul, but when the Taliban took control, filmmaking was banned, and Barmak was forced to escape first to the north, then eventually to Pakistan. Returning in 2001 after an American-led invasion brought about the collapse of Taliban, Siddiq re-established the Afghan Film Organization and went on to found the Buddha Film Organization. Unfortunately, all of Siddiq's previous works were confiscated and destroyed during the Taliban regime. Among his film credits is the Dari language film Urooj that depicts the Afghan resistance against the 1979 to 1989 invasion of the Soviet Union.
Barmak decided to write and direct his first feature film, Osama (2003), after hearing a true story about a girl in Afghan who disguised herself as a boy during the Taliban regime so she could attend school. Barmak decided to use non-professional actors in the film and searched orphanages and refugee camps for his cast. He found a 12-year-old girl, Marina Golbahari, to play his main character on the street after she approached him to ask for spare change. Osama has won awards all over the world, including a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.