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A Life of Visual Storytelling

My name is Caden Ahmad, and I am a filmmaker at Atelier Oluwatosin.

Caden Ahmad, Atelier Oluwatosin filmmaker, portrait

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve had an everlasting drive to create. As a kid, I used to record TV shows with my friends in the basement — ping pong battles, sketches, music videos, and even game shows. My imagination ran fluently through visual mediums; it’s what made the most sense to me. I didn’t really have a set destination for my creativity; I fell in love with acting, music, and the arts.

I was born in Minnesota, travelled around the U.S. for some years, and then eventually moved to the United Arab Emirates when I was 12. Being thrown across the world really shook my perspective on things. I struggled a lot with my identity in the U.S., and being able to move to an immensely multicultural environment made me feel at ease. As a young teen filmmaker in Abu Dhabi, there were very few people who shared my interests, a solid community of young filmmakers did not exist at this time. The lack of resources never stopped me. I would use my siblings, cousins, and friends to act in any screenplay I wanted to come to life. I directed while holding a boom-mic in one hand and a camera in the other. I was a one-man crew.

My parents, the co-presidents of my fan club, love to travel. They have an inspiring interest in other cultures and perspectives, and any time I had off school, we would try and travel anywhere we could. Living in a hotspot for travel, we wanted to explore as much as possible. I was able to travel to 47 different countries throughout my time in the U.A.E. I brought my camera along the way, capturing every journey. In 2017, I embarked on a trip where I stayed in an orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania, for a month. Apart from a volunteer programme to connect with the children at the orphanage and help build a new school, I wanted to create a documentary to share the stories of the children I met. I connected with Samson, a young aspiring pilot who was only eight years old. He was brilliantly optimistic and had a deep sense of purpose. He promised me I would see him in the sky years from now flying a plane, and I promised him my films would be in the theatres one day. He helped encourage me to make my dreams come true. Making that documentary made me want to dedicate my life to film. Visual storytelling is something that spoke to my heart and still does to this day.

I moved to Boston in 2020 and graduated from Emerson College in only three years with a BA in Visual Media Arts. As soon as I was surrounded by like-minded individuals who shared a passion for creating, I was bombarded by new opportunities. My love of music grew stronger at this point, so I took on a couple of instruments. I play the piano, guitar, bass, and drums and produce my own music. Similar to my love for film, I love to branch out into all aspects of the craft and at least figure it out. I was able to mesh all of my creative fields together as I became friends with talented directors, musicians, and actors who worked by my side on various projects, helping me transfer all my stories to the screen. Right before graduating from Emerson, I was selected to become a Filmmaker for Atelier Oluwatosin. I do video editing and videography for the company and the brands we serve, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be doing what I love.

XO, C.

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