Student Academy Award winner 'Bekas' to play at Palm Springs ShortFest

Bekas, from Director Karzan Kader and Producer Glenn Lund, competed this past weekend in the Best Foreign Film category at the 38th Student Academy Awards held at the world famous Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Since the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences founded the annual event in 1972, it has grown to become a hotbed for emerging filmmakers from all over the world.

The Swedish-Iraqi film Bekas will have its North American premiere in main competition at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, which begins Tuesday June 21st and runs through Monday June 27th. ShortFest has quickly become known as one of the best short film festivals in the world and this year’s schedule of films and attendees will include more content from the foreign film community than ever before.

“To feel the reactions of a thousand people watching a film you've made is an unbelievable experience. I'm really looking forward to Palm Springs serving as a platform for Bekas to touch the hearts and minds of even more people. We are very proud of this film."

– Glenn Lund, Producer

Shot in Iraq in November of 2009, Bekas takes place in the early 90s and focuses on two homeless Kurdish brothers trying to find their way to America to meet their new hero, Superman. Not long into their journey, the two boys find themselves in the hands of human smugglers and must look to each other to escape dire circumstances.

Bekas opened in theaters in Sweden and Iraq in 2010 to rave reviews from critics and audiences. The European Film Festival circuit has also embraced Bekas as an original uplifting story set in a land about which there is profound curiosity. Experiencing such an unforgiving world through the eyes of two seemingly powerless boys has resonated with audiences from various cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.

In September 2011, Karzan and a Swedish film team will start shooting a full length feature version of Bekas together with a Kurdish team. This cooperation between Swedish and Iraqi filmmakers marks the beginning of a burgeoning film industry in Iraq.

Check out the movie trailer here

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