The Afghan lads are the young stars of the "Buzkashi Boys," a 29-minute film by American director Sam French that received an Oscar nomination for best-live action short film.
The film, according to the Feb. 21, Wall Street Journal is the “first movie shot in Afghanistan to receive an Oscar nomination.”
But that is not the only distinction the short film holds – the movie was made in an effort to “combat extremism, support Afghan media and burnish the U.S. image in Afghanistan,” and was funded almost entirely out of a $150 million State Department “public-diplomacy” fund.
Director French worked with Ariel Nasr, a 34-year-old Afghan-Canadian filmmaker, a small international team, and 12 Afghans to make the film about Afghanistan's polo-like national sport – buzkashi.
The film's story line focuses on two poor Afghan boys who “fantasize about becoming national heroes by playing the polo-like sport featuring riders on horseback who drag a calf carcass around a field.”
In addition to shedding a better light on the U.S. in Afghanistan, the movie helped the Afghan crew gain the experience needed to pursue future work in television and film.
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