Afghanistan actress
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Afghanistan actress tries to change the industry

Women in burkas stare at Fereshta Kazemi with her bare legs and uncovered head in Old Kabul’s Shar-e-Kohna neighborhood. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Actress Fereshta Kazemi heads for a meeting with the Afghan director Mirwais Rakab, who is currently directing a drama series she will star in called “Kocha-e-Ma” (Our Street). Kazemi says she will not cover her hair in the series.  (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Fereshta Kazemi, left, visits the set of “Kocha-e-Ma” (Our Street), a drama series she will soon star in with Brishna Bahar, an Afghan actress, at right.  (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Fereshta Kazemi talks with cast members of the drama series “Kocha-e-Ma” (Our Street). Kazemi will play a liberated Afghan-American woman who returns home to Kabul. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Fereshta Kazemi, 33, is an Afghan-American actress now working on movies and television dramas in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sadam Niko, 21, left, who plays Kazemi’s love interest in the serial, “Kocha-e-Ma” (Our Street), said of his costar: “I think she’s so brave. If the war ever ends,” he said, “all these problems will just go away.”  (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Fereshta Kazemi attends a screening of her a film she stars in titled “Targeting,” a psychological thriller written by Tarique Qayumi. “Fereshta needs to be careful,” said Qayumi, 37, an Afghan-Canadian filmmaker who cast Kazemi in an Afghan-themed movie shot in California. “She’s very aggressive and a total feminist, and that’s good. But it can be dangerous here.” “Targeting” was screened on a swatch of white cloth tacked to a brick wall. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Fereshta Kazemi talks on the phone while trying on wedding gowns for a new film titled, “Ice Sun.” Kazemi will play an Afghan woman married in a traditional village. She suggested that she discard the wedding cloak, and instead bare her shoulders. “No! Cover your shoulders!” the movie’s producer, Omar Zazai Ramin, told her. “Do you want to get us all killed?” (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Fereshta Kazemi has makeup applied before shooting a hospital scene for a new movie titled “Ice Sun,” produced by Omar Zazai Ramin. In this scene, a new mother, played by Kazemi, finds out her child is not well. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)