BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Spring 2022

Wednesday, Mar 4th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!


Directed by Bishrel Mashbat
Narrative Feature
USA | 92 min | 2021

Anar and Kassy fell madly in love and got married. They woke up to a different reality five years later. House chores, routine work, unattainable idealistic dreams, financial struggles, and boredom have replaced the eternal promise of great love. They respond to this situation with panic and have multiple affairs to remind themselves that they are still capable of passion. However, that too passes. Their actions come to light, pushing their commitment to each other to a breaking point. Now they must decide whether to stay or to leave.

Frank McKinney has been one of my closest friends for more than 26 years. We have a lot in common and know similar struggles: sharing the need to be liked, overcoming financial setbacks, searching for acceptance and love from our fathers. Both of us, like many, are on a lifelong search to figure out what success means.
Going in, I thought this would be a movie about rugby. But it grew into something much deeper. Redemption. Purpose. Accountability. Dignity. When you see the players slam into each other—hard enough to make you flinch—the struggle and pain we watch on the field is just puppetry to what they are experiencing and fighting for in their lives. For this underdog team, winning isn’t about championships and trophies.
We started filming this movie before the world knew what COVID-19 was, before the horrific death of George Floyd and the widespread protests against police brutality and racism. These events have shifted the dialogue about race and uncovered inequality that was allowed to function in plain sight. I’m a white male. And race became something that Frank and I talked about in a way that we hadn’t in our 26-year friendship. We have similar struggles, but I will never truly know how difficult it is to be black in a society that actively works to keep African Americans down.
When I see Frank on the green grass of the rugby pitch, I know he’s right where he wants to be. He’s found meaning and purpose as a coach and, strangely, this violent sport has helped to heal the kind of deep wounds that no one can see. I am honored and truly humbled that he has trusted me to tell his story. Directing this movie has showed me how sport can heal, and in the process, I have learned more not only about my friend, but also about myself.

Beloved Poster | Bishrel Mashbat, Director

Beloved Director, Bishrel MashbatBishrel Mashbat

Bishrel Mashbat was born and raised in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. His father was a well-known film director, and his mother is a famous actor in Mongolia. Consequently, he spent most of his childhood on film sets following his parents around. At age 15, he moved to America to continue his education. In 2013 he graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Shortly after, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking. Through the years Bishrel has worked on many projects ranging from social issue-driven documentaries to TV series about Formula Drift to music videos and independent films. His work played nationwide in multiple countries and has been featured at many festivals around the world. In 2019, he released his debut feature IN THE LAND OF LOST ANGELS, which was considered the first Mongolian film made in the USA. Now he is back with his sophomore effort BELOVED.

Film Information

Director: Bishrel Mashbat
Country: USA
Year: 2021
Language: English
Runtime: 92 min


Writer: Bishrel Mashbat
Producer: Boris Isaac
Director of Photography: Mike Maliwanag
Production Designer: Nimi Lkhagva
Key Cast: Iveel Mashbat, Jana Miley, Charletta Rozzell, Roy Oraschin

Connect With This Film

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival