Roko Belic: Director / Producer
/ Cinematographer / Editor
Adrian Belic: Producer / Cinematographer
award-winning documentary GENGHIS BLUES follows the journey
of former Cape Cod blues/jazz singer Paul Pena on an amazing
geographical and personal journey as he travels to the village
of Tuva near the Mongolian border to learn a rare and wonderful
way to sing and compete in a throat singing competition. This
blind musician became one of the few outsiders to master the
art of Tuvan Throat singing. “A more improbable and endearing
yarn can't be imagined” (Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times). Winner
of the 1999 Sundance Audience Award.
Paul Pena played blues with the greats T-Bone Walker, B.B. King,
and Bonnie Raitt. In 1995, the blind bluesman became the first
American ever to compete in an unusual contest of multi-harmonic
"throatsinging" native to The Autonomous Republic
The Autonomous Republic of Tuva, wedged
between Siberia and Mongolia, for centuries has been isolated
from the rest of the world by jagged mountains and Soviet restrictions.
Only recently have the Tuvan art form of throatsinging become
known to outsiders.
discovered Tuvan throatsinging on a shortwave program of Radio
Moscow. For the next nine years he worked to produce similar
overtones with his own voice and to incorporate throatsinging
into his blues music.
Unexpectedly in 1993, Pena discovered
that Tuvan throatsingers were on their first concert tour of
the U.S. After their performance, the deep-voiced bluesman broke
into his own self-taught style of throatsinging and serenaded
the musicians with Tuvan traditional songs! The throatsingers
were amazed by Pena's mastery of the Tuvan art form and likened
his rich voice to the sounds of tremors in the earth. They insisted
that "Chershemjer" (Earthquake) travel to Tuva for
the next tri-ennial throatsinging contest which would be held
Eleven years after he first heard throat
singing, Paul Pena entered the National Theatre of Tuva to make
history. The blind bluesman's performance was so well received,
he became the 1995 throatsinging champion in the style of kargyraa.
He also captured the "audience favorite" award for
the week-long competition. The Tuvan people had never seen or
heard anyone like him.