The Buzkashi Boys team would like to congratulate Curfew on a wonderful film and a well deserved win at the Academy Awards.
Evolution Film Festival
Savannah Film Festival
Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival
UK Film Festival
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Fargo Film Festival
Santa Fe Film Festival
Austin Film Festival
Washington West Film Festival
LA Shortsfest
Santa Fe Independent FIlm Festival
Raindance Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival
Palm Springs International Shortfest
MIFF Awards
Big Island Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival
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” is a ground-breaking narrative film about two best friends, a charismatic street urchin and a defiant blacksmith's son, who strive to realize their dreams as they make their way to manhood in one of the most war-torn countries on Earth. Shot entirely on location in Kabul by an alliance of Afghan and international filmmakers, “Buzkashi Boys” is a heart-rending look at the life that continues beyond the headlines of war in Afghanistan.
"That quality of endurance shines brightly in this year's strongest nominee, the Afghanistan drama "Buzkashi Boys”.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun Times
"Stop what you're doing, and brace your heartstrings—they're in for quite a pulling.”
Gina Serpe - E! Online
“It gets my vote; it won my heart.”
Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
"The films photography is absolutely stunning. Every shot, every sweep, every picture captured on film is extraordinary. There is not a single second of this film that isn't gorgeous to look at. Within the thirty-one minutes this short plays for, you fall in love with these two boys. The emotional depth created with the script is fantastic."
“A searing and powerful film”
-Mike Ward, Should I See It?
"Buzkashi Boys starts gentle and squeezes your heart more and more fiercely...I think Buzkashi Boys is the best film in the group.”
"The striking cinematography captures the bustle and bleakness of Kabul."
-Sean Carberry, NPR
"Poignant"
- Radio Free Europe
“Buzkashi Boys” ends and all you want to say is “wow.” The film captures a culture rarely seen..."
-Heartland Film Festival

BACKGROUND

Buzkashi Boys was produced through the Afghan Film Project, a non-profit foundation formed to tell uniquely Afghan stories while building the capacity of Afghanistan's fledgling film industry.
The film introduced more than a dozen young Afghan filmmakers to new skills and techniques by pairing them with international film professionals in mentor-trainee relationships. These young trainees have already gone on to use their new skills to succeed in the challenging Afghan media landscape, writing, directing, and producing their own films independently and for television. Buzkashi Boys is a testament to their success, and the power of film as an international language.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT - SAM FRENCH

I moved to Kabul in 2008 to pursue a gorgeous woman who had just gotten a job at the British Embassy. I arrived with barely any knowledge of the country, without a job, and expecting to be hunkered down in a bunker for the duration. But I found instead a culturally complex country full of stories. At the time, I had no idea I would still be working there four years later, long after my girlfriend had returned to the West.
Inspired by the people and places I had come to love, I collaborated with Martin Roe to write Buzkashi Boys in 2009. We hoped to describe a richer and more intimate view of Afghanistan than that seen in the Western media. We wanted to tell a story about two kids who have larger than life dreams, and show that even here, in a country wracked by war, the hope of a better life connects us all.
Partnering with Afghan-Canadian producer Ariel Nasr, we soon realized just what a massive undertaking we had embarked upon. As you may imagine, filming in Afghanistan presented numerous challenges, from finding actors, getting equipment into the country, to dealing with the cultural and logistical issues of a location based shoot in a warzone. But after over a year in pre-production, we convinced nine film professionals to fly to Afghanistan and commit to an extraordinary challenge -- to make an ambitious film in a war-torn country with little infrastructure, while providing on the job training to emerging local film makers.
They took up the challenge, and I can say proudly that our initial vision has become a reality. We have a fantastic film in the can, and our Afghan trainees are now some of the most capable young media producers in the country.

PRODUCER’S STATEMENT - ARIEL NASR

Buzkashi Boys is an experiment in cross-border filmmaking, born out of a desire for collaboration between Afghan and international filmmakers. Our core team came to the project with many years experience working in Afghanistan, and a growing desire to give back to the Afghan film community.
Buzkashi Boys presented a new challenge at every turn, from rocket attacks near our shooting location to cultural differences and near disaster on the Buzkashi field. What kept us going was a shared love for film and the growing bond between Afghan and international crew.
After all, this was something new—an international crew making a world-class drama on location in Afghanistan, while training Afghan filmmakers. As we had discovered, Afghanistan is full of young filmmakers who continue to work despite conflict, lack of infrastructure and economic pressure. We hope that—with your help—this film will inspire the Afghan and international communities to pay attention to Afghanistan’s film industry, which is so full of talent and promise.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Buzkashi Boys has been a true collaborative effort by many people from around the world. And the mission of the Afghan Film Project continues today – to train Afghan filmmakers and help their voices be heard. Please consider making a donation by clicking the button above to allow us to continue supporting Afghanistan's film industry. Even a small amount will make a difference to the Afghans who yearn to realize their dreams of making films.

OTHER PROJECTS and LINKS

Sam French is President of Development Pictures, a film production company dedicated to producing the highest quality documentary and narrative films in Afghanistan and around the world.
Development Pictures is currently working on Kabul at Work, a series about the daily lives of extraordinary Afghans working behind the headlines.
The Afghan Film Project continues its mission to train young Afghan filmmakers. One of our recent projects, Being We the People, paired high school students in Kabul with students in Philadelphia to create photo essays and videos together. This was produced in partnership with the Tiziano Project and the Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Buzkashi Boys was produced in partnership with Dirty Robber, a film production company based in Los Angeles, California: