Oct. 21--Emirati actor Ahmed Al Dahouri, accepted a 'Gold Dolphin' on behalf of environmental film The Turtle at the annual Cannes Corporate Media and TV Awards
A bid to promote Dubai's World Expo 2020 candidacy has landed an Emirati teenager a second Cannes award two years on the trot, while his latest performance has attracted international attention.
Last year fifteen-year-old Emirati actor Ahmed Al Dahouri, from Ras Al Khaimah, accepted a 'Gold Dolphin' on behalf of environmental film The Turtle at the annual Cannes Corporate Media and TV Awards, before he again starred in short film Ali's Film, which picked up a 'Silver Dolphin' award several days ago.
The film, produced by Dubai media company FQC Media, won the award in the Fairs and Shows, Events and Meeting openers category. It was originally produced to be screened at a World Expo committee general assembly last year, but had since been uploaded to the Expo 2020 Dubai website -- where it has attracted a large amount of social media attention -- and is now being shown by Emirates at the start of all flights.
Al Dahouri, who only found out about the award on Sunday, said he was surprised by the second win in as many years but "I had a good feeling about the film".
He also has a good feeling about Dubai's Expo bid and is already preparing for another Expo film that would arise out of a successful Dubai bid.
"Yeah of course (I'm confident Dubai will win), because...other countries support Dubai."
The youngster said he had had other offers since making his acting debut in The Turtle, but had a firm idea about the roles he would accept.
"I want to do acting that has a good effect for the country, like Expo Dubai."
The four minute 23 second English language film follows 10-year-old Ali (Al Dahouri) as he talks to his former pearl diving grandfather before journeying around new Dubai.
Al Dahouri said he was focusing on schooling for now so he could fulfil his goal of becoming an engineer -- while acting may be just a hobby.
"Hollywood, no problem, but I will have another job. All actors are not just acting, they have other jobs."
FQC Media director Peter Vine, also the director of the UAE's World Expo 2015 pavilion in Milan, said the Cannes success a second year running was not altogether a surprise.
"We did expect something because the film has been received really well."
The film's main star had gone from strength to strength, he said.
"It's really a good short film, Ahmed comes across really well in it. He's really grown as an actor since he did The Turtle, so we were very impressed with his performance.
"He's very passionate...he's kind of taken on the role (of an Expo ambassador)."
Vine said there had been international approaches and the youngster had a bright acting future ahead of him.
"We've spoken with commercial and feature film people who have seen his performance and who rate him very highly. There's a niche there for a young actor to make a mark. It's not easy to find people who can do it."
Emirati director Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, also from Ras Al Khaimah, said he was impressed with Ali's Film and his junior had a big future -- hopefully on the big screen.
"Inshallah this boy will work with me."
And Ahmed may not be the only Al Dahouri in the limelight, with his younger sister Sarah set to make an onscreen splash. -- firstname.lastname@example.org
(c)2013 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
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