Bristol filmmaker Martin Desmond Roe goes from Gloucester Road upbringing to Oscar nomination for Buzkashi
A 'PROUD Bristol boy' has had a film he wrote and produced nominated for an Oscar.
Martin Desmond Roe, who describes himself as being raised in a Gloucester Road pub, has had his short film Buzkashi Boys nominated for Best Short Film at the 85th Academy Awards next month.
The 30-minute film is a coming-of-age story of two best friends growing up in the war-torn streets of Afghanistan dreaming of winning a popular and fierce polo match.
Educated at St Ursula's and Bristol Cathedral School the 34-year-old fell in love with theatre and film when he went to Somerville College at Oxford University in 1997.
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He then decided to dedicate his life to the modern medium of film, and applied to study film in the US, taking out big loans to pay for it, and moved to Los Angeles knowing no one.
Since his arrival in the city of film, Mr Roe has done well, he worked with director Oliver Stone as well as setting up his own production company called Dirty Robbsr where his brother Matthew, 29, now works.
Despite his success he told The Post that he was stunned when he found about the Oscar nod.
"When I heard I had been nominated I just felt disbelief for a while then the most insane adrenaline rush of my life," Mr Roe said. "I and the other crew on the film were exhausted for the following few days because of how overwhelming the excitement was."
Despite making the move to America to follow his dreams, Mr Roe remains a proud Bristolian and says he misses his home city.
"The best thing about LA is the weather and the people," he said.
"The weather is lovely and the people are all creative, bright, driven and talented. The worst is all the driving – it takes two hours to drive from one side of town to the other."
"However I am a Bristol Boy and very proud of it.
"I was born in Southmead Hospital in 1978 and my earliest memories are of The Golden Lion pub on Gloucester Road. My grandparents were landlords and my mum ran it with them so I was sort of raised in a pub.
"After that, we moved to Southmead, then to Fishponds, then to Hanham, then to Redland where we lived just off Whiteladies Road.
"The last place I lived in Bristol, the year before I went to college, was a tiny flat on Park Street, which was situated above a chip shop."
While he loves the sunshine and climate in LA Mr Roe admits missing the cold snap of home – as well as a decent bag of chips.
"I miss Bristol. I miss walking through the cold wrapped up warm – it's funny how nostalgic you get about cold weather in LA," he said.
"I loved walking everywhere, I used to walk about five miles to school and then as I grew older, I'd walk five miles home after the buses stopped.
"I also miss the summer days when everyone flocked to College Green and Ashton Court and I really miss greasy chips – the Americans just cannot do good chips."
He added: "My biggest influences were my grandfather Des Thomas, who was a Second World War veteran, and my mum Karen Forchione.
"My grandfather had an incredible work ethic and a focus on following your dreams that was amazing.
"Mum helped me go to great schools as a child and wouldn't let me quit and be a lawyer when I was so poor in my late 20s that I thought the whole thing was a crazy nightmare."
This year marks the 85th Academy Awards on February 24. For more on the film see www.buzkashiboys.com.
Buzkashi Boys will be screened at the Watershed in a programme with all the nominated Oscar shorts on Sunday 10th February at 13:10.