One of the first movies made since the Afghanistan's TALIBAN regime was overthrown by America has won top prize at a Montreal film festival.

Director SIDDIQ BARMAK scooped the main prize at the NEW MOVIE AND NEW MEDIA FESTIVAL in the Canadian city for his film, OSAMA, which concentrates particularly on the treatment of women during the regime's oppressive rule.

He says, "There are some changes, but no big change on the whole. Some girls now go to school and work, but most women are poor and uneducated, many have to beg and most are still afraid of the Taliban."

The film gained its title because it is set in the period where AL-QAEDA leader Osama Bin Laden became synonymous with the country, and Barmak hopes the film will publicise the plight of Afghan women.

20/10/2003 17:23