Ben and Irune have worked together since they first met at university. Although both of them were into films growing up, with Ben wanting to be an actor and Irune going to her local cinema every week, initially they had totally different paths. Ben studied Arabic and Politics, spent his third year studying at Damascus University in Syria and then came back to take a module on Middle Eastern cinema, a turning point where he fell in love with Iranian and Arabic films. Irune studied Biology at university, followed by an MA in Edinburgh where she and Ben met, and they both then moved to Dubai working in a production company and advertising agency. This helped them to focus on their true calling, which was filmmaking and production, so they returned, did an MFA and made their first feature, Pikadero, all about a young couple trying to find a place to have sex. During the production of Pikadero, they won a British Academy Scotland New Talent Award for their graduation short, which was a huge boost, while making a feature film with no money, that they were on the right path.
They had set up their production company, Caravan Cinemas but during Pikadero, the entire production staff consisted almost solely of Irune which was a pretty nerve-wracking experience. On their follow up feature, Limbo, she was delighted to be able to be able to bring onboard a full production team. Through his time in Syria, Ben made plenty of friends and when he returned, was frustrated to see representations of refugees that were dehumanising, either making asylum seekers out to be subjects of pity or demonising them. So he set out to make a film that could offer a different angle on the discourse around the subject matter in a filmic and accurate way.
For Ben, being a BAFTA Breakthrough has been a goal of his ever since the scheme launched seven years ago. He thinks that Industry recognition and validation is undeniably valuable so to get it from an institution as prestigious as BAFTA is really special. Irune feels as though the two of them have been in a production bubble together so getting this honour has made her feel recognised and seen by the wider film industry.