Adrian and Roko Belic, the brothers behind Wadi Rum Films, were born to a Czecholslovakian mother and Yugoslavian father and grew up in Evanston, Illinois. While many of their elementary school friends were at summer camp, the young brothers were often behind the "Iron Curtain" in Eastern Europe visiting family and friends. Listening late into the night to captivating stories told by relatives and neighbors, the brothers were drawn to the art of storytelling.
Back at home, when the channel knob on the family television broke off, their mother used a wrench to lock it to the local PBS channel. The boys became enchanted with documentaries through which they could explore places and cultures around the world.
Adrian and Roko Belic began making films while still in elementary school when a friend of theirs, Christopher Nolan, borrowed a super-8 movie camera from his parents. It was there on a dining room wall that the magic flickering images of film captivated the boys and set their lives on a course.
Adrian and Roko attended universities in California (University of Southern California and University of California at Santa Barbara respectively) where Adrian furthered his study of film and Roko studied art as well as Russian, Swahili and Arabic languages. Both brothers traveled around the world during their time in college, Adrian on a ship and Roko with a backpack.
For their first feature, Roko was inspired by a story unfolding in the little-known Siberian republic of Tuva. Trusting his intuition, the brothers purchased two cameras on credit and flew to Tuva to create the documentary feature, Genghis Blues. The landmark film received an Academy Award® nomination for best documentary feature and won over 70 international film festival awards including the Sundance Audience Award.
Continuing their passion for global cinematic journeys, Adrian directed and Roko associate produced Beyond the Call, following three American soldiers-turned-humanitarians, traveling to war zones around the world delivering life-saving aid.
The following year, Roko co-produced and shot the award-winning Indestructible, filmed in locations from China to Israel, following one man’s search for a cure for his terminal illness. Roko then directed the documentary Dreams: Cinema Of The Subconscious, included on the Inception (2010) Blu-ray, and following its success directed The Batmobile, released on The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Blu-ray.
Roko directed, wrote and co-produced and Adrian associate produced Happy, by teaming up with director Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor), who executive produced. Happy won numerous awards and screened in 70 countries on 6 continents. It was the #1 documentary on iTunes for over nine weeks and achieved "All-Time Bestseller" status.
Adrian continues to work as director, director of photography and creative consultant on numerous independent and television films that take him around the world.
Roko shoots, directs and edits and has written a feature narrative film that he plans to direct.
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