Roberts Bekers on “Jasmīna Tēja”

Roberts Bekers, a film student and filmmaker, screened his short “Jasmīna Tēja” at our Fall 2022 festival. The film is inspired by men from his life who also became actors starring as versions of themselves in the story. 


We spoke to Roberts about the inspiration for the story and working with men from his life. He said that Jasmine Tea came about as he thought “ arguments with someone really pretentious could be quite funny.” 


The plot is about four middle aged-men who get together for a coffee, but their recurrent habits are broken when one of them orders tea instead of coffee. This leads to a satire of conflict when the men turn against each other.


The film stars his father, family friends, and his own grandfather. He recalls the experience as challenging. “The fact that I knew them made communication easy, yet considering the fact that they hadn’t acted before came with its own set of challenges.”

Aside from a challenge with the actors, he also talked about the difficulties of starting with no budget and “persuading people who make films for a living to help out a budget-less kid and his friends to film an anecdote.” All struggles aside he did mention how many techniques he learned for working with crew and actors. He also emphasized the importance of accepting criticism during his learning curve, saying “I still cringe when looking at some of the scenes”. 


Roberts is currently working on four scripts of different genres and he is hoping for a “fruitful” year to grow as an artist. He is looking forwards to making bigger projects with more people and continue leaving a footprint.