WASHINGTON, DC, March 8 /CNW/ - Award-winning documentary filmmaker and
journalist Arthur Kent, a veteran of some 28 years' reporting from
Afghanistan, has launched an edgy new website featuring a series of exclusive
filmed reports from the war-weary nation.
The first reports, which began streaming over the internet today, feature
never before seen footage of the chaos and corruption wracking the government
of President Hamid Karzai. Kent says time is running out for Karzai and his
supporters in the West to address the crisis.
"While Canadian troops serve faithfully to help Afghanistan realize a new
beginning, Canadian politicians, both in government and the opposition, are
failing to get results on the key political and diplomatic fronts of the
conflict," said Kent. "The Afghan people are losing confidence in the
government ushered in by Western powers. Scandal and corruption continue to
spread, with virtually no response from President Karzai or his foreign
A new filmed report will appear on SkyReporter.com each day. In future,
Kent will contribute short films and documentaries on other subjects, and
visitors to the site will be invited to post their own films.
Kent's first reports detail turmoil in the anti-narcotics policing of
Kabul's airport. Last autumn, the airport's police chief, General Aminullah
Amerkhel, was mysteriously removed from his post, in spite of his record
detecting and arresting scores of heroin smugglers.
Amerkhel's colleagues insist on his innocence - as do respected office
holders, such as the speaker of the Upper House of Parliament. President
Karzai remains mute on the case, though senior police officials claim that
heroin now flows freely through the airport.
Kent says he remains optimistic about Afghanistan's future - provided
Afghan and Western lawmakers act now.
"Everywhere you look, the Afghan people are trying to rebuild their
country with their bare hands. Unless the government is put back on course,
and soon, the people won't be able to win the future they deserve. Their
success is the only way to ensure that the service and sacrifice of Canadian
soldiers is not in vain."
Arthur Kent was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta and raised in Calgary. He
studied journalism and history at Carleton University in Ottawa, later
becoming Alberta correspondent for CBC's The National. Since then, he has
specialized in reporting world affairs. He filmed his first independent
documentary in Afghanistan in 1980.
His film Afghanistan: Captives of the Warlords was broadcast by PBS three
months prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and was
extensively re-telecast by PBS and CBC Newsworld after 9/11. The program won
the New York Festivals' Gold WorldMedal and a Golden Eagle award from the CINE
organization in Washington, DC.
Kent has reported from Afghanistan for CBC News and MAN ALIVE, NBC, BBC
and The History Channel, and for publications including The Observer of
London, The Toronto Star, Maclean's and The Calgary Herald. He has
photographed and interviewed many of the personalities who have dominated the
Afghan stage over the years, and has witnessed every phase of the conflict,
from the Soviet occupation and the civil war that followed, to the U.S.-led
campaign to oust the Taliban.
Last year, at special public showings, Kent profiled Canada's military
mission in the documentary Afghanistan: Peacemaking In Progress.
He says: "Peacemaking In Progress held out a lot of hope, not least
because of the dedication of our troops. But our politicians, sadly, are
concentrating on short term advantage at home. They talk about "exit
strategies", but in terms of political and diplomatic initiatives they've
barely arrived in Afghanistan."
For further information:
For further information: or interviews: Jennifer Mondoux, (416) 530
1173, Jennifer@mondouxsalvia.com; Adriana Salvia, (416) 274 8711,