Ben Hur Sepehr

Touting 33 awards and nominated for another 25, Iranian-born writer-director-producer Ben-Hur Sepehr’s recent period piece The Desperate continues to win the hearts of people worldwide with its profound humanitarian message.

Based on a true story, The Desperate, starring TV series regulars Peter Mark Richman (Beverly Hills 90210, Dynasty) and Greg Mullavey (iCarly, The Bold and the Beautiful), is about an imprisoned Jewish surgeon (Richman), who, on the eve of his scheduled execution in a World War II concentration camp, is ordered at gunpoint to perform emergency surgery on the son of a German army general (Mullavey).

With its mission to eradicate deep-seated prejudices of intolerance and hate, The Desperate will continue its successful journey, premiering at the world renowned Court Métrage at the Cannes Film Festival, May 11-22. Veteran filmmaker Sepehr hopes his 32-min. drama will help prevent history from repeating itself. “It is imperative for us to keep reminding our children of what happened so it will never happen again,” said the Tehran native who, with his family, fled to the U.S. from his homeland after losing everything in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Sepehr studied filmmaking in Sweden where he began his career as an assistant to internationally renowned film director Ingmar Bergman at the Stockholm State Theater. After returning to Iran, he served as a filmmaker for the late Shah, while simultaneously creating numerous stage and screen productions, including feature films, documentaries, TV variety shows, and directing plays through the Iran-America Society for Americans stationed in Tehran.

Because The Desperate has been so enthusiastically received by film festivals and their audiences, Sepehr’s production company Tolerance Through Knowledge, Inc., is now developing a feature-length version, “which will be based on the same story and more,” said Sepehr. “It’s going to reflect hope and compassion against the harsh backdrop of the current international social climate.”

Sepehr’s company is also currently developing another feature film destined to be a box office success, The Coin, which is a compelling story reminiscent of a modern-day Twelve Angry Men, possibly starring the likes of renowned actors such as Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, and Alain Delon.

For more information on Ben-Hur Sepehr and his short film The Desperate, to inquire about investing, or obtaining a clip reel, production stills, and/or scheduling an interview, either email him at or visit the film’s and production company’s websites: or


— Article by Kimberly Durrett