Written and directed by Bryan Buckley, Asad takes place in a war-torn fishing village in Somalia, where a boy must decide between resigning to a life of piracy or choosing the path of an honest fishing man. Bryan’s decision to make this movie, and utilize an all-Somali refugee cast, was inspired by his experiences shooting “No Autographs” during the summer of 2010. Buckley, along with long time producer Mino Jarjoura, traveled with the United Nations to Kenya and Sudan. While filming in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Buckley interviewed many Somali refugees and was fascinated by their spirit and moved by their struggles. A year later, Buckley wrote and directed ASAD.
After premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in April of this year, ASAD took home the prize as Best Narrative Short and became Academy Award eligible. Next, ASAD traveled west to the LA Film Festival and was named the winner of Audience Award for Best Short. Indiewire then named ASAD one of “The Five Hottest Short Films of the Summer” on the festival circuit. Continuing its journey, the film screened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival where it was awarded the Grand Prize for BEST SHORT, and became RIIFF’s official representative to the Academy in hopes of a nomination. Another honorable achievement was when famed filmmaker Michael Moore personally selected ASAD to the Traverse City Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize. The film festival circuit is far from over for ASAD, the film will appear around the world over the next 9 months.
If you weren’t already keeping track, here’s the full list of festivals where Asad has screened so far.
TriBeCa Film Festival – World Premiere, Best Narrative Short
Seattle International Film Festival
LA Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Short
Palm Springs International ShortFest
Traverse City Film Festival – Special Jury Prize
Rhode Island International Film Festival, Grand Prize – Best Short
HollyShorts Film Festival – Best Short Film
One Lens Film Festival – The Spotlight on Justice Award AND First Place Award for Best Film
Later this month ASAD will be travelling to Montreal for the International Premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival. Then, you can catch the film at the 1 Reel Film Festival in September and the New Orleans Film Festival in October.
Great job Bryan and the rest of the team!