Langley-born filmmaker Leslie Knott says when she first travelled to Afghanistan to help open a radio station run by women in 2005, she never imagined the trip would one day lead to an Oscar nomination.
"I never imagined that I would work on television or film," Knott told CBC Radio's On the Coast host Stephen Quinn on Thursday.
"In my wildest dreams I never would have been nominated for an Oscar."
But on Thursday the BCIT Broadcast Journalism grad picked up the nomination for producing the short film Buzkashi Boys, a story about two young Afghani boys who dream of competing in the brutal, but popular game of buzkashi, a kind of horse polo played with a dead goat.
The film is one of five nominations in the Live Action Short Film category at the Academy Awards.
Buzkashi Boys was directed by American Sam French and is one of the first major movie productions in Afghanistan since the Taliban government fell in 2001.
The film was produced through the Afghani Film Project, a non-profit organization that hopes to create a viable and sustainable film industry in Afghanistan.
"We started the Afghani Film Project because we wanted to use our experience to help out an existing and talented film industry that needed an injection of outside expertise", says Knott.
The Oscar nomination, while by far the most prestigious, is not the first for the film. It has been an official selection at film festivals across the U.S., garnering critical acclaim in the process.