Eska discovered the lead actor for his movie by stopping a guy in the street and telling him he had a perfect look for the lead character in his film.
Ershadi was approached while sitting in his car in Teheran by Abbas Kiarostami. Ershadi had never acted before, but knew of the directors work. That chance meeting led to the making of "Taste of Cherry" and a win at the Cannes Film Festival.
Eska is now waiting to hear if his choice of Pedro Castaneda will lead to an Independent Spirit Award for his film, and for Castenada as best lead actor. Castaneda had never acted before either. He hadn't heard of Eska, but decided to do the film because he liked the themes of family loyalty.
Of course it makes you wonder what people who have spent a lot of time and money in acting school think about stories like this.