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King of Hearts: Dreams of a Shepherd Boy
Directors: Lindalee Tracey & Peter Raymont

Directors Lindalee Tracey and Peter Raymont bring us the inspirational film, King of Hearts - Dreams of a Shepherd Boy, about the life of Dr. Tofy Mussivand, an immigrant to Canada from his Kurdish homeland high in the Northern Mountains of Iran. The film traces Dr. Mussivand's remarkable journey from his humble roots as a barefoot Kurdish shepherd boy to a world renowned leader in the development of artificial heart technology.

As a boy, Tofy Mussivand would escape the oppressive heat of a summer night by sleeping on the roof of his home, gazing towards the heavens while contemplating the universe and the meaning of life. Even as a child, he was an avid reader, constantly seeking knowledge, a trait that would take him far from his native village - first to the University of Tehran and later, with the help of a scholarship, to the University of Alberta.

Mussivand struggled through his early years in Canada, learning the language, studying during the day and working as a dishwasher at night. He graduated from the University of Alberta and shortly afterwards married a young Canadian woman, Dixie Lee. Throughout the 1970's, Mussivand held a variety of engineering positions, helping to build the infrastructure of a modern Alberta. Though at one time he made a fortune buying and selling real estate, he eventually lost it when interest rates rose.

After this, Tofy, his wife and their two young sons moved to Cleveland, Ohio. It was there where his quest for knowledge and his desire to unravel the mysteries of life brought him back to school where he studied and received his doctorate in medicine. Now, with the combination of medicine and engineering behind him, he turned his attention to the newly developing science of artificial organs, and his creative energy to creating an artificial human heart.

After working for three years at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the U. S., Mussivand was approached by Dr. Wilbert Keon of the Ottawa Heart Institute, to head the Institute's artificial heart team. It was here that the former Kurdish shepherd boy developed the artificial heart technology that would become the standard for the future.

This is a story of one boy, who dared to wish upon a star, to learn some of the secrets of the universe. Through hard work, he made his boyhood dreams a reality.

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