LOS ANGELES — The Black Tulip (www.breadwinnerfilms.com/work/blacktulip) is Afghanistan’s Oscar submission in the “Best Foreign Film” category. The film was directed by Sonia Nassery Cole, and was produced by her Breadwinner Productions. It was shot entirely in Afghanistan. Cole also stars as a lead character in the film, which she describes as a slice of life for one family in Afghanistan.
The Black Tulip centers around The Poets Corner, the family’s restaurant in Kabul, which not only serves the area’s best cuisine, but also offers locals an opportunity to have their poetry heard in a public forum. This freedom of speech is strongly opposed by the Taliban, and leads to threats and continued violence.
The feature was shot on Red and Matt McFarland of Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging handled the DI for the film MPI handled the DI for the film. McFarland ingested Red camera files to MPI’s local SAN. FilmLight’s Baselight was used for color correction and the conform. MPI also created the Digital Cinema Package.
According to McFarland, some of the challenges involved dealing with actually war-time footage that came from multiple sources, including news footage, documentary-style shoots and the film’s production. Lighting was also challenge due to some of the production issues. Many of the film’s scenes take place a night and in dimly lit areas of the city.
The film’s soundtrack features music by Natalie Cole, including two original tracks.