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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
ResidenceMalibu, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
OccupationFilm producer and director
Years active1993–present
Notable work
Genghis Blues, Happy
StyleDocumentary film
Home townChicago, Illinois, U.S.
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 a friend borrowed a super-8 movie camera from his parents.[1] Belic grew up in suburban Chicago and attended Evanston Township High School.[3][5][6] Belic later attended the University of California, Santa Barbara.[6]


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]

Continuing with his passion of global cinematic journeys, Belic associate produced Beyond the Call (2006), following three American soldiers-turned-humanitarians, traveling to war zones around the world delivering life-saving aid. The following year, Belic co-produced and shot the award-winning 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, Happy combines powerful human stories with cutting-edge science to give audiences a deeper understanding of our most desired emotion. Happy won numerous awards and screened in 70 countries. It was the #1 documentary on iTunes for over nine weeks and achieved "All-Time Bestseller" status.

Personal lifeEdit

Belic currently resides in Malibu, California with his longtime girlfriend, Gael Firth, and their daughter and son.[7][8][9]

Belic's step-mother, Ellen Stone Belic, is the daughter of Jerome H. Stone, the founder of the Alzheimer's Association and of J.H. Stone & Sons.[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. External link in |website= (help)
  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. ^ Wilmington, Michael (January 29, 1999). "Documentaries, Foreign Films Are The Real Stars At Sundance". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Petrakis, John (September 24, 1999). "For The Love Of Tuva, `Genghis Blues' Was Filmed". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Gerhard, Susan (July 6, 2011). "Roko Belic Charts Path to 'Happy'". Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  8. ^ Freedman, Rich (April 22, 2011). "Latest film, first child, keep Belic busy". Vallejo Times Herald. Vallejo, California. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  9. ^ Katz, Laura (February 8, 2012). "Interview with Roko Belic, Producer And Director Of Happy, A New Documentary". Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  10. ^ Diamond, Seymour; Morey, Charlie (January 6, 2015). The Headache Godfather. New York City: Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 9781629145389.
  11. ^ Megan, Graydon (January 5, 2015). "Jerome Stone, helped start Alzheimer's Association, dies". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  12. ^ McCann, Tom (December 10, 2001). "Dr. Nenad Belic, 62..." Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015.

External linksEdit