What Tomorrow Brings

For students at the first all-girls school in a conservative Afghan village, education goes far beyond the classroom.

Film Signature Image
POV, Women of the World
Premiere Date
October 31, 2016
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2016 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2016 Peabody Awards-George Foster Peabody Award
  • Producer/Director

    Beth Murphy

    Beth Murphy is founder of Principle Pictures, a company focused on creating documentary films, impact campaigns, and news reports about pressing human rights issues globally. She has directed and produced nearly 20 films (Sundance Channel, PBS, History Channel, Lifetime, Discovery Networks), including the feature documentaries Beyond Belief and The List, Show more which focused on the human consequences of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those films premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and went on to win awards on the festival circuit. Murphy is a blogger for Huffington Post and a Correspondent/Producer for GlobalPost Special Reports. As an Adjunct Professor at Suffolk University and a Visiting Professor at American University Paris, Murphy has taught courses in covering international crises, the business of international news, media ethics, and documentary filmmaking. Currently as a fellow at Boston University and Visiting Scholar at Iraq’s Basra University, Murphy is researching film art in post-war Iraq and developing an academic program on Cultural Diplomacy Through Filmmaking. Show less

    Other ITVS Films
    The List

    We fund untold stories for public media.

    Learn more about funding opportunities with ITVS.

    The Film

    What Tomorrow Brings is filmed in a small, conservative Afghan village that has never before allowed its girls to be educated. Now, for the first time ever, girls in Deh'Subz village have their own school — the Zabuli School. The film plays out over the course of a school year as we follow the stories of three students, two teachers, and tenacious school founder Razia Jan. While the girls are learning to read and write, their education goes far beyond the classroom.

    What Tomorrow Brings is a coming-of-age story in which young girls struggle against tradition and time, and discover that their school is the one place they can turn to understand the differences between the lives they were born into and the lives they dream of leading. Although the focus is on the students and teachers, the men in the village play an important role, too, especially their relationship with school founder Razia Jan. It is the men who have given the okay to educate their daughters and keep the school safe – even if all the while lamenting that this really should be a boys’ school. The film reveals an intimate portrait of village life and a community caught between conservative traditions and more modern values that Razia is trying to instill. And as the school year comes to an end, five of the 9th grade girls have done so well on their exams that they will be able to skip to the 11th grade when the next school year begins. We don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring for these girls, but can feel confident they will be brighter and better-prepared because of the love, support, protection, and education they have found at the Zabuli School.