Ahmad Taleb recently won the Prix de la Sensibilisation au Handicap 2017 (Disability Awareness Awards 2017) at the Rabat Handifilm Festival.
A Syrian student who has almost completed his MBA in Project Management at Limkokwing University, Ahmad Taleb has seven years of experience in film, theatre and acting.
For a Good Cause
Ahmad’s movie ‘Out of the Black’ talks about people with special needs. It was recognised at the Marano Ragazzi Spot Festival where Ahmad was awarded the International Youth Contest Special Mention – Student Projects award.
His film, shot on a train from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur, is described as sensitive, gentle and poetic. It has an emotional and amazing end that invites viewers to reflect on the consideration or superficial thoughts that can be improper and insulting.
“I didn’t want to make drama or action, or romantic stories, because the people with special needs have to be focused on as they are part of our society,” he explained.
His work was inspiring and dedicated to bring hope to others who have suffered due to endless war.
Ahmad was a former child actor and performed in Syrian theatres for three years prior to arriving in Malaysia. When he finished his studies in Syria, he enrolled in Limkokwing University in 2012 to create a career for himself.
“I came here to make myself better,” he said. “We did not have a university that teaches cinema is Syria.”
Ahmad’s childhood acting experience gave him a better perspective of the industry and the way it worked. He was also familiar with various filmmaking equipment and his exposure to professionals in the industry gave him an advantage.
“I met a lot of people from the industry in this field,” he said.
“It helps to have a vision,” Ahmad advised while explaining that it enabled him to think creatively.
“People have different ideas and we can share those ideas together,” he said. “I can see other cultures and thoughts.”
As a student in a multicultural environment such as Limkokwing University, this also enabled him to learn to see things from a different perspective.
“We could get into deep conversation with other people and gain new knowledge.”
Studying at Limkokwing
“In the beginning I was really shy,” Ahmad said. “I just wanted to get as much information from the lecturers as possible.”
He started at Limkokwing with a Bachelor of Digital Film and Television before moving on to his current post-graduate studies in Project Management.
“It was a very nice society which made me think in a better way,” he said. “There are students from Iran, Pakistan, Germany, Palestine, Turkmenistan, China, Indonesia, and all over the world.”
This was the opportunity for Ahmad to take – learning from them while they learned from him.
Advice on Challenges
“My advice is to just focus on your studies to achieve your dreams,” he said. “Students would need to know people and learn from them while they can.”
Ahmad explained that being recognised in the film industry is difficult as people are always looking for the next big movie. For him, overcoming these new challenges also encouraged him to move forward to bigger competitions.
“Facing challenges is what makes people make the best movies,” he said.
At the same time, Ahmad also emphasised the importance of ensuring that his crew and cast were comfortable. He had to make them feel relaxed, because it would affect the quality of his work.
According to Ahmad, teamwork is crucial in producing a film. A successful film will enable a person to accomplish more in the future.