Afghan film “Buzkashi Boys” shortlisted for Oscar Awards
By Mirwais Adeel - Fri Jan 11 2013, 10:22 am
Set against the dramatic landscape of contemporary Afghanistan and the National sport of Buzkashi – a brutal game of horse polo played with a dead goat – Buzkashi Boys tells the coming of age story of two best friends, a charismatic street urchin and a defiant blacksmith’s son, who struggle to realize their dreams as they make their way to manhood in one of the most war-torn countries on Earth.
The movie attracted considerable viewers outside the country and the film was also widely welcomed inside the country where the film industry of Afghanistan that was totally damaged due decades of civil war.
The film, which was produced with a joint international and Afghan crew, recently won best drama at the LA Shorts Fest, which makes the film eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Buzkashi boys was directed by American film maker Sam French, who is working on making documentary films in Afghanistan.
Ariel Nasr who produced the film Buzkashi Boys, nominated for an Academy Award in the live action short category. He said he’s thrilled with the nomination and what it could mean for arts in Afghanistan.
“We’re hoping this will bring some attention to film makers in Afghanistan and films made in Afghanistan,” said Nasr.
Nasr, who graduated from the University of King’s College in Halifax in 2005 with a degree in history of science and classics, learned the film was one of 11 shortlisted for an Oscar in late November.
Nasr and American director Sam French co-founded the project, which aims to tell Afghan stories and build the capacity of the country’s movie industry. As a result, they employed local actors (Fawad Mohammadi, Jawanmard Paiz and Wali Talash) and let Afghan film interns work on the feature with the international crew.
Buzkashi Boys, which has picked up awards at numerous festivals in the U.S. and Europe, will next be screened at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and Cinequest in San Jose, Calif. Among the other credits for the Halifax-born Nasr — whose mom is from California and whose father is from Afghanistan — are the documentaries Good Morning Kandahar (2008) and Boxing Girls of Kabul (2012), which he wrote and directed.