Amateur Afghan boy actor dreams of winning Oscar
The Afghan film "Buzkashi Boys" has been nominated for the Oscars and Fawad Mohammadi, the 14-year-old amateur lead actor in the film, is hoping that he would win a Hollywood Academy award.
"I am very hopeful to win," Mohammadi told Xinhua in an interview.
The 85th Oscar Academy Awards, which is expected to be as colorful and memorable as the previous awards, will be held in Hollywood on Sunday (Monday in most countries in Asia).
Buzkashi or goat grabbing is Afghanistan's national sport game in which several horse riders compete to grab the carcass of goat or calf and put it inside circle on the playing field.
Playing the role of the son of a blacksmith and interested in Buzkashi, Mohammadi, who still works as a street vendor in the famous venue Kochai Murgh Faroshi or Chicken Street, and sells Kabul maps to foreign tourists, said that fortune has been nice to him because he was given the opportunity to star in the film.
"By chance, I befriended a foreigner one day last year and he introduced me to Sam French, the director of 'Buzkashi Boys', and since then my life has begun to change," Mohammadi said.
"I didn't have any training on cinema industry before starring in 'Buzkashi Boys'. Just after few days of preparation, we started our work
and filmed the movie in two months last year," Mohammadi, also a Grade 8 student in a local school, said.
Mohammadi who lives in a mud house along with his mother, six brothers and a sister, said, "Nowadays I am very famous, many people know me since the nomination of 'Buzkashi Boys' for the Oscars and I hope winning the Oscar through this film would bring real change in my life," he said.
"Buzkashi Boys" is one of the five short films nominated for the Oscars chosen from among 65 short motion pictures worldwide.
Mohammadi said that if his movie wins, he would study cinema to become a refined actor and bring honor to his county.
The protracted three decades of war in Afghanistan has adversely affected the cinema and film industry in the country. In fact, during the iron-rule of the Taliban, cinema was banned in the country.
Even today, there are only two cinema halls, out of eight, that are still operational in Kabul.
Cinema Ariana and Cinema Pamir are the only operational movie houses because the other six are still being renovated, according to Sayed Farooq Aybat, managing director of Cinema Ariana.
According to Farooq Aybat, the Afghan film industry is slowly being revived with some 150 movie companies having obtained licenses to produce films. "But only few companies have actually begun making films and the quality of their movies is poor," he said. Kabul (Xinhua)