Nightly News   |  February 22, 2013

Hollywood welcomes the ‘Buzkashi Boys’

The two Afghan teens who starred in the short critically acclaimed film ‘Buzkashi Boys’ landed at LAX this week to attend the Oscars. It was a far cry from their home country, where one of the boys – Fawad – sold maps on the streets to help support his family. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> well, the academy awards are sunday night, as you might have heard. in the middle of all those parties and red carpets is a story that could be a film all its own. a teenager from afghanistan who just days ago was selling maps on the streets of kabul is right now there in the thick of it all. his story tonight from nbc's kristen dahlgren.

>> gentlemen, gentlemen.

>> reporter: they say movies have the power to transport you.

>> over here, right here.

>> reporter: the oscar red carpet is a long way from afghanistan . 14-year-old fawad mow hamty was selling maps on the streets of kabul, struggling to support his mom and seven siblings when american director sam french noticed something in those soulful green eyes . he cast him in a short film about the son of a blacksmith and a street peddler, two friends with big dreams . we were with fawad in afghanistan when he found out that film is an oscar nominee.

>> i'm so happy.

>> reporter: did you ever think that you would be here?

>> no. i never think that i would be here.

>> reporter: it's been a whirlwind trip so far. autographs, paparazzi. they can't wait to see the movie stars .

>> al pacino , nicolas cage and tom cruise .

>> reporter: in between a trip to universal studios and some classic americana --

>> he likes french fries .

>> reporter: they can't help but wonder what americans think of their country.

>> afghanistan has a lot of talented boys like maybe us.

>> reporter: he is the son of a famous afghan film maker. but for fawad, life may not be that different when he returns home. he only made $1,000 for the film. but he is in school, and dreams of being a pilot someday. if he isn't a famous actor. bigger than brad pitt ?

>> we would like to work together.

>> reporter: two friends with incredible dreams. sometimes real life just does it better than the big screen . kristen dahlgren, nbc news, hollywood.