Oscar dream alive for SA producer

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PN asad

MOST film producers spend their entire careers dreaming about going to the Oscars.

This has become a reality for Rafiq Samsodien of Century City, who produced the short film Asad with American director Bryan Buckley, the owner of US production company Hungry Man.

Asad has been nominated in the Academy Awards 2013 Short Films category along with local documentary Searching for Sugar Man.

The film has won top honours in the Best Short Film category at various film festivals, including the Austin Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Rhode Island Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.

“I was ecstatic to hear that the film had made it this far. Most people work their entire lives to achieve success at this level, so I’m blessed and humbled to have worked with a great team. Starting out, we had no major expectations, but we got optimistic when we were shortlisted in December,” an excited Samsodien said yesterday.

The 18-minute short film is a coming-of-age story about Somali boy, Asad. He struggles to survive in his war-torn seaside village, where he has to choose between being a fisherman or a pirate.

The film was shot in a week in 2011 in Paternoster, a fishing village 150km from Cape Town.

Samsodien said the idea for the film came when Buckley was inspired after interviewing Somalis in Kenya and hearing about their plight.

Samsodien said they were trying to get the two main characters, Harun Mohamed, 13, and his younger brother, Ali, to the Oscars on February 24, “but because they are refugees here this is proving difficult”.

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