Teenager Afghan actors to walk red carpet at Oscars
By Sajad - Fri Feb 08 2013, 12:51 pm
The 14-year-old Afghan boy with bright green eyes, Fawad Mohammadi who has spent half his life peddling maps and dictionaries to foreigners on a street of trinket shops in Kabul is getting ready for a trip down the red carpet at the Oscars.
Fawad Mohammadi is travelling out of Afghanistan for the first and will be his time on a plane.
He appeared in “Buzkashi Boys” movie filmed entirely in a war zone and has been nominated in the Best Live Action Short Film category.
Buzkashi Boys film is based on the story of two young Afghan boys who are dreaming to become profesional players of Buzkashi sport, a game that somewhat resembles polo: Horseback riders wrangle to get a headless goat carcass into a circular goal at one end of the field.
The director of the movie Sam French, Philadephia native who has lived in Afghanitan for about five years has put his efforts in the film to revive a film industry devastated by decades of civil war and during the Taliban regime.
Sam French said, his 28-minute movie was initially conceived as a way of training local film industry workers – the first installment in his nonprofit Afghan Film Project.
French, 36, is in Los Angeles, where he is preparing for the Feb. 24 Academy Awards and raising money to fly the two young co-stars in for the ceremony.
Quoted by Associated press, French said, “We never dreamed of having the film … get an Oscar nomination.”
The boys playing the main characters – Mohammadi and Jawanmard Paiz – can barely contain their excitement.
Mohammadi whose real-life dream is to become a pilot told Associated Press, “”It will be a great honor for me and for Afghanistan to meet the world’s most famous actors.”
He started selling gum when he was only 7-year-old after his father died, leaving him with his mother, five brothers and a sister.
Mohammadi learned English hustling foreigners on Chicken Street, the main Kabul tourist area with shops selling multicolor rugs, lapis bowls and souvenirs, and gained a reputation for being polite, helpful and trustworthy.
“His life was so much harder than mine,” Mohammadi told Associated Press. “The blacksmith made him go out on the streets. I came myself here (to Chicken Street). My family didn’t make me come. I wanted to make money to feed myself and to feed my family.”
The other character of the movie is a 14-year-old boy and son of a well-known actor who plays the homeless Ahmad. Paiz has appeared in nmovies when he was only 5-year-old and has gone to the Cannes Film Festival.