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The teenage stars of an Oscar-nominated short film from Afghanistan hope to walk the red carpet at the Academy Awards in February, thanks to donations that are pouring in to pay for their travel.
A representative for the Buzkashi Boys film said on Thursday that an online campaign is two-thirds of the way to the $10,000 needed for 14-year-olds Fawad Mohammadi and Jawanmard Paiz to travel from Kabul to Los Angeles in time for Hollywood's biggest night on Feb 24.
Buzkashi Boys is about two children growing up in Kabul who dream of becoming Buzkashi riders, horsemen who compete in a dangerous Afghan national sport similar to polo, in which riders try to carry a headless goat across a goal line.
The teens hope to arrive a few days before the annual Academy Awards, in which the film Buzkashi Boys by US director Sam French is nominated for best live sction short film.
"I'm sure we'll get there one way or another," Leonard Morpurgo, the film's publicist, said.
"They need that money to get them over here," he said, adding that the film did not have the budget for the teens to travel to the Oscars.
Mohammadi, an amateur actor with piercing green eyes, gained international attention following the film's release last year for his personal story as a fatherless youth who grew up selling maps of Kabul to tourists in its Chicken Street market.
Buzkashi Boys, which runs for just 28 minutes, is the first film to be produced by the Afghan Film Project, a non-profit group that aims to train filmmakers in Afghanistan.
(China Daily 02/02/2013 page6)