Roko Belic is an American film producer and director. His directorial debut, Genghis Blues, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Roko Belić
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
OccupationFilm producer and director
Years active1993–present
Notable work
Genghis Blues, Happy
StyleDocumentary film
Partner(s)Gael Firth

Early life and educationEdit

Belic was born to Czechoslovakian and Yugoslavian parents, Danica and Dr. Nenad Belic.[1][2] During his childhood, his mother used a wrench to lock a broken dial on the family TV to the local PBS channel.[3][4] His first film-making experience was in third grade with his brother, Adrian, when childhood friend Christopher Nolan borrowed a Super 8 movie camera from his parents.[1] With Nolan, Belic co–directed the surreal Super 8 film Tarantella (1989), which aired on Image Union, an independent film and video showcase on the Public Broadcasting Service.[5] Nolan and Roko also worked together on a documenting a safari across four African countries, organised by the late photojournalist Dan Eldon in the early 1990s.[6]

Belic grew up in suburban Chicago, attended Evanston Township High School[3][7][8] and later attended the University of California, Santa Barbara.[8]


For his first feature, Belic was inspired by a story unfolding in the little-known Siberian republic of Tuva. Trusting his intuition, Belic purchased two cameras on credit and flew with his brother to Tuva to create the documentary feature, Genghis Blues (1999).[citation needed] Belic’s landmark film received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary feature and won over 70 international film festival awards including the Sundance Audience Award.[citation needed]

Belic associate produced Beyond the Call (2006), following three American soldiers-turned-humanitarians, traveling to war zones around the world delivering aid. The following year, Belic co-produced and shot Indestructible (2007), filmed in locations from China to Israel, following one man’s search for a cure for his terminal illness.

In 2010, Belic directed the documentary Dreams: Cinema Of The Subconscious, included on the Inception (2010) Blu-ray. Following its success, he directed The Batmobile, released on The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Blu-ray.

Most recently, Belic teamed up with director Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor), who executive produced, to make the feature documentary Happy (2012). Directed, written, and co-produced by Belic.

Personal lifeEdit

Belic has a daughter and son with longtime girlfriend, Gael Firth.[9][10][11] His father, Nenad, was a retired cardiologist who died while attempting to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.[12]







  1. ^ a b "About WadiRum". Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  2. ^ Freedman, Rich (January 23, 2011). "Belic is back in Bay Area with 'Genghis Blues'". Vallejo Times Herald. Vallejo, California. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Ramsey, Nancy (July 4, 1999). "How a Creole Singer Wowed Them in Shangri-La". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  4. ^ Curiel, Jonathan (July 1, 1999). "'Genghis' Lets Brothers Leave the Blues Behind/Pair scrimped five years to pay for documentary". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  5. ^ Mooney, Darren (2018). Christopher Nolan: A Critical Study of the Films. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 5. ISBN 978-14-766-7480-3.
  6. ^ Eldon Turteltaub, Amy (7 December 2013). "Remembering My Brother Dan Eldon: A Journalist Who Died To Tell the Story". Huffingtonpost. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  7. ^ Wilmington, Michael (January 29, 1999). "Documentaries, Foreign Films Are The Real Stars At Sundance". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Petrakis, John (September 24, 1999). "For The Love Of Tuva, 'Genghis Blues' Was Filmed". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  9. ^ Gerhard, Susan (July 6, 2011). "Roko Belic Charts Path to 'Happy'". Archived from the original on March 16, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  10. ^ Freedman, Rich (April 22, 2011). "Latest film, first child, keep Belic busy". Vallejo Times Herald. Vallejo, California. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  11. ^ Katz, Laura (February 8, 2012). "Interview with Roko Belic, Producer And Director Of Happy, A New Documentary". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  12. ^ McCann, Tom (December 10, 2001). "Dr. Nenad Belic, 62..." Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015.

External linksEdit