List of Afghan submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

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Afghanistan has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 2002, following the fall of the country's previous Taliban government. The award is handed out annually by the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.[1] It was not created until the 1956 Academy Awards, in which a competitive Academy Award of Merit, known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, was created for non-English speaking films, and has been given annually since.[2]

As of 2017, twelve Afghan films have been submitted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film but none of them have been nominated for an Oscar.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited the film industries of various countries to submit their best film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 1956.[2] The Foreign Language Film Award Committee oversees the process and reviews all the submitted films. Following this, they vote via secret ballot to determine the five nominees for the award.[1] Below is a list of the films that have been submitted by Afghanistan for review by the Academy for the award by year and the respective Academy Awards ceremony.

Film title used in nomination Original title Language(s) Director Result
FireDancer Fire Dancer Dari, English Wassel, JawedJawed Wassel Not Nominated
Osama Osama (أسامة) Dari Barmak, SiddiqSiddiq Barmak Not Nominated
Earth and Ashes Khakestar-o-khak Dari, Pashto Rahimi, AtiqAtiq Rahimi Not Nominated
Opium War Opium War Dari, English Barmak, SiddiqSiddiq Barmak Not Nominated
16 Days in Afghanistan 16 Days in Afghanistan Dari, English, Pashto Hajher, Anwar Anwar Hajher Not Nominated
The Black Tulip[3] The Black Tulip Dari, Pashto, English Sonia Nassery Cole Not Nominated[4][5]
The Patience Stone[6] The Patience Stone Persian Atiq Rahimi Not Nominated
Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)[7] Wajma (An Afghan Love Story) Dari Barmak Akram Not Nominated
A Few Cubic Meters of Love[8] Chand Metre Moka'ab Eshgh Persian Jamshid Mahmoudi Not Nominated
Utopia[9] آرمان شهر Persian Hassan Nazer Not Nominated
Parting[10] رفتن Persian, Dari Navid Mahmoudi Not on the final list[11]
A Letter to the President[12] نامه ای به رییس جمهور Dari Roya Sadat Not Nominated
  • FireDancer was Afghanistan's first-ever Oscar submission. The film, about the Afghan-American diaspora in New York City, was filmed primarily in English with some scenes in Dari. In order to fulfill AMPAS requirements, the film held screenings in two venues in Kabul- a newly reopened cinema, and a stadium that was previously used by the Taliban for executions.[13] The print used for the Afghan screenings as well as that submitted to the Academy was dubbed entirely into Dari. The film's writer-director Jawed Wassel, an Afghan-American who had received asylum in the United States in the 1980s, was brutally murdered while the film was in post-production.[14] The film's producer Nathan Powell pleaded guilty to the crime.[15]
  • Osama, about a young girl forced to pose as a boy in order to work and support her family under the brutal Taliban regime was considered an early favorite for an Oscar nomination after winning the Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film, but it ultimately failed to be nominated.
  • Earth and Ashes, directed by France-based dual Afghan-French citizen Atiq Rahimi, was a drama about an old man and his grandson on a long journey to inform the man's son of tragic news.
  • 16 Days in Afghanistan, despite its positive reception in both Afghanistan and in the west was unable to participate as it did not meet some of the qualifications.
  • The Opium War, a black comedy featuring a mixed American and Afghan cast, was about the uneasy interaction between two downed American soldiers and an Afghan family of poppy growers. The film reunited Osama director Siddiq Barmak and the titular lead of that film, Marina Golbahari.

In 2009, A British documentary filmed in Afghanistan in languages native to Afghanistan, (Afghan Star) was selected to represent the United Kingdom.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Rule Thirteen: Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  2. ^ a b "History of the Academy Awards - Page 2". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  3. ^ "Afghan Oscar contender aims to show more than war". reuters. 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  4. ^ "2010-2011 Foreign Language Film Award Screening Schedule". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  5. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar® Race". Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  6. ^ "Oscars: The Patience Stone chosen to be the Afghan entry!". Le Pacte. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Wajma, an Afghan love story". Afghan Culture Museum. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  8. ^ "Iranian-Afghan movie submitted to Oscar". Iran Daily. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (23 September 2015). "Afghanistan Chooses 'Utopia' for the Oscars". Variety. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Bhushan, Nyay (12 September 2016). "Oscars: Afghanistan Selects 'Raftan' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "85 Countries In Competition For 2016 Foreign Language Film Oscar". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  12. ^ Fratter, Patrick (26 September 2017). "Afghanistan Sends 'A Letter' to Oscars". Variety. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  13. ^[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Smith, Dinitia (2002-10-02). "Tragedy Haunts Film on Afghan Diaspora; Friends of a Murdered Filmmaker Struggle to Finish His Work". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  15. ^

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