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Awe-inspiring art film raises landmine awareness

This beautiful yet powerful documentary tells the story of how product designer Massoud Hassani blended art and utility to create a low cost solution to landmine clearance.

Mine Kafon is a short documentary about product designer Massoud Hassani who lived in Afghanistan until he was 14. During this time, surrounded by war, he became aware of many injuries and deaths caused by landmines.

After his mother smuggled him out of the country, Hassani travelled for a while before settling in The Netherlands. Now 25, Hassani recently returned to Kabul with an invention inspired by his hand-made childhood toy that could safely and cost-effectively detonate mines. 

After seeing Hassani's creation, director Callum Cooper of ardentfilm.org contacted the designer to collaborate on a documentary. The result is this hauntingly powerful three-minute video, narrated by Hassani, which shows how his design came to be and the brilliant device in action. Since the film proved that Hassani's prototypes work, the designer is now in the process of finding collaborative partners to start producing these life-saving deminers. 

Awareness and recognition

The powerful story has captured the hearts of many since its release. So much so that Mine Kafon is a semifinalist in the Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition. The contest features a series of 30 three-minute stories about innovative people who are reshaping the world through act or invention, directed by the world's most celebrated documentary filmmakers. The film will also be part of the collection MOMA (New York) and Hassani will have an exposition in this renowned museum in March 2013. 

You can read full details of the Mine Kafon project of Hassani's blog. Or check out this video, in which Hassani presents his device seeking and destroying landmines:

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