Oscars 2022: Havertown, Pennsylvania husband received Oscar nods for documentary ‘Three Songs for Benzair’

LOS ANGELES — A filmmaker from Havertown, Pennsylvania is eligible for an Oscar in the Documentary category.

Elizabeth Mirzaei co-created Three Songs for Benzair with her Afghan-born husband Gulistan.

It’s a love story set in a camp for displaced people in Kabul. Her journey to the Oscars begins with Mirzaeis’ own love story.

“That was something that really made us want to capture this love story of a couple with so little on earth but the world in their hearts,” Elizabeth said.

The film features Shaista and Benazir. They are a couple struggling to start a family against the backdrop of war.

Telling their love story was a passion project for the Mirzaeis.

“We met at a gas station in Kabul,” they said.

Gulistan was the first person Elizabeth met when she arrived in Afghanistan.

After four years as creative colleagues and friends, they became husband and wife. On the way they met Shaista and Benazir.

“There was something so remarkable between them that we felt like it was really unusual, we hadn’t seen it before,” Elizabeth said. “It really drowned out the war that was going on outside. There was just this intimacy and the beauty and the joy and the humor that happens behind closed doors.”

“In my country, the Afghans are so happy,” Gulistan said.

“They say how happy they are to see Afghanistan portrayed in this way for the first time and how proud they are to know that an Afghan filmmaker told this story,” adds Elizabeth.

They explain the moment they heard their names read as Oscar nominees.

“When they announced us, I screamed,” Gulistan recalls his reaction. “My youngest daughter woke up and my mother asked if I was crazy.”

The couple have two young daughters.

“This is probably our first date night in six years,” they laughed.

The 94th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC on March 27 from 8pm ET/7pm CT/5pm PT. Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes are hosts.

Check out the full list of Oscars 2022 nominations here.

Mark your calendar: March 27th is Oscar Sunday. Red Carpet special coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT and continues throughout the day leading up to the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. Stay tuned to “On The Red Carpet” after the last awards show for continued coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscars news and information. Click here to download our CTV apps and watch “On The Red Carpet” wherever you stream.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Oscars 2022: Havertown, Pennsylvania husband received Oscar nods for documentary ‘Three Songs for Benzair’

Dais Johnston

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