With donations of five, ten or $50 to their social fundraising website Rally.org, across more than eight countries, ordinary people have given more than $10,000, enough to fly the stars of the Oscar
-nominated live-action short “Buzkashi Boys” to Los Angeles. Fawad Mohammadi and Jawanmard Paiz, both 14, arrive in Los Angeles a few days prior to the awards.
In addition, the U.S. State Department and Turkish Airlines have offered to cover their round-trip flight, meaning that the money raised will go to Fawad’s college education. He was discovered by director Sam French and producer Ariel Nasr while selling tourist maps on the streets of Kabul, something he had been doing since the age of seven to support his mother. He stars in the film as the son of a poor blacksmith. Jawanmard plays his best friend, a street kid, living much the way that Fawad did in real life.
Fawad has never been away from Kabul before so this visit to Los Angeles will be a major cultural change for him. Jawanmard has been acting since he was five. When they arrive they will have a full schedule of interviews and events. They will be fitted with tuxedos so that they can walk the Oscar red carpet with pride on February 24. To ease the transition to a new environment, they will be staying at the home of an Afghan family and will be accompanied by a chaperone from their homeland.