Sam French
Growing up in suburban Philadelphia, Sam dreamed of one day becoming an astronaut and flying the first mission to Mars. But as he devoured science fiction novels to prepare for his journey, he revelled more in the ancient power of storytelling than the far-off future destinations these stories revealed. After graduating from Williams College in 1998, Sam embarked to New York City, where he cut his teeth in the film industry before moving to Los Angeles to attend USC film school. There he directed the film “Over the Line,” which won multiple awards, including Best Director and Best Actor at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, and was rated as one of the best films of the year at USC’s 2006 First Look Festival.
Sam went on to direct numerous commercials and music videos, and in 2008 he moved to Afghanistan in pursuit of a beautiful woman. He arrived with barely any knowledge of the country, without a job, and expecting to be hunkered down in a bunker for the duration. But he found instead a complex tapestry of stories waiting to be told. He decided to stay, and founded Development Pictures, a production company dedicated to revealing another side of this often misunderstood country.
In 2011, Sam directed “Buzkashi Boys,” one of the first narrative fiction films to be shot entirely on location in Kabul with a mixed Western and Afghan crew. This film was the first project of the Afghan Film Project, a non-profit NGO that Sam co-founded in 2010 to help train Afghan filmmakers and foster Afghanistan’s film industry.
Sam believes that film has the power to reveal those truths that tie us together as humans on this small planet hurtling through space we call home, and will continue this journey for the rest of his life. He no longer wants to go to Mars.
Sam’s work has appeared on broadcast outlets including Channel 4 in the UK, the BBC, Al Jazeera, National Geographic, HBO, Current TV, and others. He has produced and directed documentaries for clients including the US State Department, DFID, the EU, CARE International, Safi Airways, and various UN agencies.
For more information on Development Pictures, please visit:
Ariel Nasr
Ariel Nasr is an award winning Afghan-Canadian filmmaker based in Afghanistan. Fascinated by the pursuit of untold stories, he wrote and directed "Good Morning Kandahar" and "The Boxing Girls of Kabul" for the National Film Board of Canada, as well as a an interactive piece about Kabul's story tellers (work in progress).
He freelances as a director and producer for television, commercial and independent clients. Ariel also works with video installation, and radio, and recently produced the short, narrative film "Buzkashi Boys", shot on location in Kabul. He co-founded two partner NGOs to help train and promote Afghan filmmakers: AFEO (Afghanistan) and the Afghan Film Project (USA).
Martin Roe
Martin is a graduate of Oxford University and the University of Southern California Film School.
In his career in the entertainment industry, he has worked in almost every aspect of film production, including directing music videos for artists such as Mint Royale and Mark Ronson, producing and directing commercials for companies and artists such as Dell, Deloitte, and Franz Ferdinand. and editing three feature films, including the upcoming Disconnected for MTV Films.
He is also Partner and Co-Founder at Dirty Robber, a Los Angeles based production company.
He is thrilled to have been part of Buzkashi Boys.
Duraid Munajim
Director of Photography
Born in Kuwait to an Iraqi father and an Iranian mother, Duraid Munajim is an award-winning Toronto-base film director and a freelance cinematographer. His work has been screened in festivals around the world, including IDFA in Amsterdam, Dokfest in Munich, as well as festivals in Switzerland, Lebanon, France, and across the U.S. and Canada. Duraid worked as one of the principal camera operators on both Zero Dark Thirty, and academy-award-winning The Hurt Locker.
Nels Bangerter
Nels Bangerter is an Emmy-nominated film editor based in San Francisco, California. His credits include War Child, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and won Tribeca's Audience Award for feature films; Dan Rather Reports, the Emmy-winning news magazine; and Out in the Silence, which has screened nationwide on PBS and received a regional Emmy for Best Documentary. His latest feature-length project, Let the Fire Burn, was sponsored by the Sundance Documentary Fund and will be released in 2013. Outside the editing room, Nels has worked in a gold mine, lived in a redwood tree, and earned bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and English.
Jim Dooley
Jim Dooley is an Emmy-winning composer/songwriter well known in film, television and video game circles. Dooley recently completed Disney Interactive's musically groundbreaking video game “Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two,” the first video game musical. His work has also included ABC’s critically acclaimed series, “Pushing Daisies” – still a fan-favorite years after the show ended – for which Dooley earned a 2008 Emmy for “Best Original Music Composition for a Series.” This year, two projects featuring Jim’s music were honored with Academy Awards nominations, the animated short “Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare”, and the live action short “The Buzkashi Boys”.
2012 saw him teamed-up with “Pushing Daisies” creator Bryan Fuller for NBC’s “Mockingbird Lane.” Other credits include: “Wilfred,” “Best Friends Forever,” “Emily Owens, M.D.”, “Obsessed,” “Pushing Daisies,” “When a Stranger Calls,” “Neighbors from Hell,” and “The Forger,” an independent film starring Hayden Panettiere, Lauren Bacall and Josh Hutcherson. Dooley has also scored the hugely popular video games “Epic Mickey” for Disney, “Infamous 2” and “SOCOM 3” for Sony.
Line Producer
Ryan Lough
Associate Producers
Aram “Jamal” Amiri
Leslie Knott
1st Assistant Director
Terry Stone
Director Trainee
Massih Tajzai
Assistant Director Trainee
Musa Rustami
Art Director
Matthew Thompson
Art Department Trainee
Farid Ahmad Khurrami
Music Supervisor
Alexandra Hill
Production Co-ordinator, LA
Heidi Spencer
Production Co-ordinator, Kabul
Mina Sharif
Location and Logistics Manager
Fakhrudin Maqsoudi
Location and Logistics Trainee
Ahmad Najim Sarwar
Producer Trainee
Jamil Yosufi
Administrative Assistant
Shaheed Mubariz
Production Office Trainee
Assadullah Qaderi
Additional Camera
Drew Bienemann
1st Assistant Camera
James Schlittenhart
2nd Assistant Camera/DIT
Drew Bienemann
Camera Trainees
Hassan Nikzad
M. Zaki Ahmadi
Aaron Thomas
Lighting Trainee
Hezbullah Sultany
Production Sound Mixer
Eric Clabeau
Production Sound Intern
Abdul Jalil
Additional Sound
Mikhael Gulastov
Key Grip
Rhys Brisbin
Grip Trainee
Hashmat Tajzai
Production Assistant
Abdulla Ferjad
Stunt Rider
Juma Khan
Supervising Sound Editor
Joe Dzuban
Dialog Editor
Justin Dzuban
Assistant Sound Editor
Jean Tsai
Sound Re-Recording Mixers
Joe Dzuban
Craig Mann
Assistant to Jim Dooley
Andrew Skrabutenas
Engineer Latif
Siddiq Barmak
Legal Advisor
Tom Rosenstock
Government Liaison
Wali Talash
Finance Advisor
Ishfaq Hussain
Horse Wranglers
Khair Mohammad
Helen Beley
Production Drivers
Abdul Majed
Abdullah Nasrullah
Bismillah Samejan
Majid Ayam
Production Chef
Jawed Habibullah Sultani
Assistant Chef
Ghulam Ali Ayam
Catering Assistants
Mangal Sultani
Zabi Sultani
David Gill
Set Photographer
For the last decade David has worked as an independent photojournalist / filmmaker concentrating on deprived areas of the world and where possible exploring the positive aspects of their cultures.
He has been based in Afghanistan since 2008 working on a variety of human-interest stories. He is the creative director of Kabul at Work, a multi-media project documenting the lives of Kabul's working people.
For more information on Kabul at Work, please click:
Fawad Mohammadi
Jawanmard Paiz
Wali Talash
"Jawed" the blacksmith, Rafi's father
Donors and Supporters
Kickstarter Campaign Supporters
Thank you!
Farid Maqsudi
Nick Beare
Jason Sharif
Cedric Fedida
Laila Nazarali
Lauren Barnes
Fleur Cowan
Nick McDonell
Homira Nassery
Conrad Oakey
Ilja Elle
Ransom Riggs
Dave Jerome
Yan Castelli
Jade Van Doren
Oke Millett
Hedvig Alexander
David Rubin
Eric Bartz
Mary Sharif
Leo Tomlin
Peter Mulhall
Jen Laurette
Genevieve Juillard
Tamara Myatt
Isuru Sen
Karen Forchione
Elizabeth Comstock
Erika Dunmire
Nicky Vennera
Philip Weyman
Cecilia GP
Tom Gould
Daniel Balgoyen
Minna Jarvenpaa
Tara Clancy
Richard Lamb
Mark Miller
Philip J Weyman
James daniell
Matthew King
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Anne Harrop
nate mccray!
Oskar Lehner
Jennifer Gharibyar
Olivier Vanderveeren
Claudia Rizzi
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Kelsey Gower
Phelps Feeley
Siri Trang Khalsa
Jeremy Relph
kate McGuire
ben de Pear
alexa filanowicz
Greg Nalencz
Jeremy Paul Lewis
Helen Hobart
Yosef Mahmood
Matt Crabtree
Kristin Weyman
Hans Reichstetter
Case Barden
Shilpa Nadhan
Mark Giacobbe
Zahira Sarwar
Lukas Birk & Sean Foley
Jonathan Saruk
Sean Foley
Derek Sasaki
Elissa Michaelson
Elsa Mickelsen
Hannah Hedges
Tom Lisowski
Zach Warren
Cris Rodriguez
Sophia Loukaides
Michelle Stephens
Matthieu Aikins
Safwat Saleem
Heather Holm
Rodrigo Guim
Anissa Tanweer
Priscilla Shalom Ciesay
Abigail Eshel
Kathryn Peters
Nevan Hamid
Seth Adams
Lucy Lyon (née Gordon)
K Lins
Richard Colebourn
Melisa Tilton
Brian Lucas
Thomas Zimmerman
Melanie Eddy
Laura Kim
Azarakhsh Damood
Peter Shadix
Dane Walker
Josh Allen
Sarovar Banka
Shannon Galpin
Ariana Nasr
Caitlin Hayden
Guy Sauvage
Special Thanks
Afghanistan Ministry of Information and Culture
Afghanistan Ministry of Defense
Afghanistan Airborne Division
Afghanistan National Police, Precinct 101
Turquoise Mountain
National Bus Service, Afghanistan
Engineer Hedayat Ahmadzai
Tara Ali
Herbert A. Allen
Miles Amoore
Lauren Barnes
Travis Beard
Nick Beare
Will Beharrell
Jon Boone
Kevin Brady
Andrea Busfield
Sean Callebs
Yan Castelli
Shoshana Coburn
Fleur Cowan
Barry Cowling
Katherine Demazer
Ilja Elle
David Ensor
Haseen Fahim
Cedric Fedida
Katherine French
Mary French
David Gill
Tom Gould
Lianne Gutcher
Alex Hill
Soo Hugh
Dave Jerome
Minna Jarvenpää
Jeremy Kelly
Thalia Kennedy
Dr. Khalili
Amir Khan
Sally Knight
Martin Lavut
Nick McDonell
Clementine Malpas
Vince Marcello
Lucy Martens
Farid Maqsudi
Joanie Meharry
Anna Morgan
Homira Nassery
Laila Nazarali
Conrad Oakey
Marina Parker
Martin Patience
Conor Powell
Myles Price
Alim Remtulla
Ransom Riggs
Tom Rosenstock
Khushbu Shah
Jason Sharif
Mina Sharif
Jake Simkin
Jerome Starkey
Rebecca Stewart
Rory Stewart
Liny Edyawati Suharlim
Omar Sultan
John Walker
Sarah Waller
Leehom Wang
And all the residents of Murad Khane who welcomed us into their community.
Made in cooperation with Afghan Film and the Afghanistan Ministry of Information and Culture.
(Afghan Film logo goes here)
This film was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.