The key to a great story is it appeals to everyone on a primal level. The Oscar® nominated short "Buzkashi Boys" is the tale of two children living on the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, who dream of a better life beyond their grim reality. It is simple, elegant, beautiful, and universal.
Shot entirely in Afghanistan, director Sam French and writer/producer Martin Roe removed the element of war from their story. Having lived in the country for over a year, Sam saw more to the people of Afghanistan than just the conflict.
They were full of resilience and hope. That was the story he and Martin wanted to tell.
To achieve this goal, the decision was made to bring out professional filmmakers from the US and pair them with local Afghan talent to train them and pay forward some of their skill and expertise.
On top of regular insurance requirements, Dirty Robber and the gang we sent out there all had to get Death and Dismemberment insurance. This was a very real reminder of the ever-present danger the Afghan people live under.
And that, of course, emphasized the audacity of their spirit to remain so optimistic.
While many of the film's crew were US professionals, it was critical to Sam that they not only cast locally, but to actively search for non-professional actors in Kabul. This process brought them to Fawad Mohammadi, the film's lead actor.
Fawad was exactly the character he played in the movie - a street child scraping a living together by selling wares and incense to passersby. A chance meeting with Sam lead to his casting and the young man's earnest performance grounds the entire story with an honestly that can't be faked.
The success of the movie and the journey to the 2013 Academy Awards were not just high points for Dirty Robber, but also truly triumphant moments for Fawad and his costar Jawanmard Paiz.
The producers brought the two boys to the States following a successful Kickstarter campaign and allowed them to share in the apex of this incredible adventure.