Angels are made of Light

James Longley, United States, 2018

117 min.Documentary

Filmed throughout three years, the film follows students and teachers at a school in an old neighborhood of Kabul that is slowly rebuilding from past conflicts. We are introduced to people like Sohrab, a boy who hopes his love of books will lead to a life of the mind, not manual labor; his brother, Yaldash, who feels forced to work but dreams of the luxury of studying; and teacher Nik Mohammed, whose memories – illustrated with archival sequences – open a window into Afghanistan’s past and politics. Interweaving the modern history of Afghanistan with present-day portraits, the film offers an intimate and nuanced vision of a society living in the shadow of war.
Basic information Credits Festivals & awards
Original title Angels Are Made of Light
Danish title Lysets engle - Afghanistans børn
Keywords Afghanistan, Children, Children in foreign countries, Schools, School attendence, Pupils, School life, Teaching, Child labour, Dreams of the future, Everyday life, City life, Islam, Kite flying, Election, Voting, 2010-2019, History, War
Director James Longley
Producer James Longley
Director of Photography James Longley
Editor Waltteri Vanhanen, Janus Billeskov Jansen, James Longley, Per K. Kirkegaard
Sound Henrik Gugge Garnov, Thomas Arent
Composer John Erik Kaada
Production country United States, Denmark, Norway
Production company Daylight Films
Domestic distribution Det Danske Filminstitut
International sales
Online release 09.01.2020,
Danish rating Allowed for children over the age of 11
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Production company Daylight Films
Co-production Final Cut for Real ApS, Louverture Films, Piraya Film
With support from Det Danske Filminstitut, Norsk Filminstitutt, Filmkraft Rogaland, Zefyr Media Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Danida, Stiftelsen Fritt Ord, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund, Ford Foundation, Bertha Foundation, Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, United States Artists, Art Matters, Afghanfilm, Open Society Foundations
In collaboration with DR K
Domestic distribution Det Danske Filminstitut


Direction James Longley


Producer James Longley
Co-producer Signe Byrge Sørensen
Co-producer Joslyn Barnes
Co-producer Torstein Grude
Executive producer Danny Glover
Executive producer Anatoly Savin
Executive producer Jeff Sanderson
Executive producer Lara Sanderson
Executive producer Basil Shadid
Co-executive producer Susan Rockefeller
Co-executive producer Tony Tabatznik
Production assistant Jad Mourad
Production assistant Ida Ågård
Production assistant Mads Liljendahl
Production assistant Sofie Lykke Steenstrop
Post-production manager Maria Kristensen
Post-production manager Joakim Hauge
Post-production consultant Jacob Leander
Production supervisor Fridrik H. Mar


Cinematographer James Longley


Still photographer Ali Hashemi
Still photographer Nicolas Ropert
Still photographer Mikhail Galustov


Editor Waltteri Vanhanen
Editor Janus Billeskov Jansen
Editor James Longley
Editor Per K. Kirkegaard
B-editor Sofie Steenberger
Assistant editor Sofie K. Jansen
Assistant editor Silke Jolly Campbell Engberg
Assistant editor Basil Shadid


Composer John Erik Kaada


Sound designer Henrik Gugge Garnov
Sound designer Thomas Arent
Foley artist Torben Greve
Foley recordist Steen Bondrup

Visual effects

Colourist Tom Chr. Lilletvedt
Titles and art direction Hamid Rahmanian

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Det Danske Filminstitut registrerer international festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, dog primært de titler, som Filminstituttet varetager i sin festivaldistribution, og primært i forbindelse med de festivaler, som Filminstituttet har prioriteret at samarbejde med. Registreringen af festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, der ikke er i festivaldistribution, foretages kun for "launch"-festivaler ifølge Filminstituttets prioriterede festivalliste. Se listen over prioriterede festivaler.
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