Synopsis by Mark Deming
Plenty of young movie buffs come to Hollywood hoping to break into the movie business, but Mardik Martin traveled a bit farther than most. Born and raised in Iraq, Mardik Martin's father was an Iraqi intelligence officer, but at an early age Mardik became fascinated with the movies and dreamed of going to America. When he was 18, after a stint working in MGM's Baghdad distribution office, Martin traveled to California to attend college, and while a political overthrow soon left his family penniless and unable to support him, the aspiring filmmaker refused to turn his back on his dreams. Mardik made friends with a fellow film student and rabid movie buff named Martin Scorsese, and Mardik would not only help the young Scorsese make several of his early films, he would help write the screenplays for some of Scorsese's signature works, including Mean Streets, Raging Bull and New York, New York. Mardik: From Baghdad to Hollywood is a documentary which follows Mardik Martin's story from his youth in the Middle East to his salad days in Hollywood, only to lose his career to drugs and start a new life in academia. Mardik: From Baghdad to Hollywood was an official selection at the 2008 Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, California.