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Jawanmard Paiz and Fawad Mohammadi made it to the Oscars Photograph by Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

When director Sam French learned in January that his short film Buzkashi Boys had been nominated for an Oscar, he brooded over how to get the two 14-year-old Afghan boys who star in it to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony. “Fawad [Mohammadi] was a street kid when we cast him in the film,” says French, who made the movie on a $245,000 budget. “He has no father. He was peddling maps and dictionaries for money.”

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