• Afghan film "Buzkashi Boys" shortlisted for Oscar

Afghan film "Buzkashi Boys" shortlisted for Oscar

04 December 2012

The Afghan film Buzkashi Boys has been shortlisted for an Oscar in the "Best Live Action Short Film" category.

It  tells the story of two young boys in Kabul who dream of playing buzkashi, the Afghan national sport.  Buzkashi - an ancient sport - is a game of horse polo played with the carcass of a dead goat instead of a ball.

Buzkashi Boys was one of the first narrative fiction films to be shot entirely on location in Kabul with a mixed Western and Afghan crew.  It was the first project of the Afghan Film Project, a non-profit NGO founded to help train Afghan filmmakers and foster the country's fledgling film industry.

Its director, Sam French, moved to Kabul in 2008.  He recently told The Guardian  newspaper, "What we see in the west is not what we see here on the ground.  The news is full of bombs, bullets and burqas, not the stories of the people who I know and love in Afghanistan.  One of my missions became to show the world another side of the country."

The film has already won a string of awards, including Best Drama at the LA Shorts Fest, Best Cinematography at the UK Film Festival and Short Film of the Festival at Raindance.

Buzkashi Boys is one of 11 films shortlisted in its "Oscar" category.  This shortlist will be whittled down to between three to five films for final nominations in January.  The Oscar awards ceremony will be held on 24 February.