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Riz Ahmed – shortlisted for two major acting awards for film, ‘Sound of Metal’; Bafta longlists,chance to see online BFI ‘Mogul Mowgli’ and stage show, ‘The Long Goodbye’…

Riz Ahmed – shortlisted for two major acting awards for film, ‘Sound of Metal’; Bafta longlists,chance to see online BFI ‘Mogul Mowgli’ and stage show, ‘The Long Goodbye’…

After the success of ‘Flee’ at Sundance, Wembley’s favourite son was back in the news…

IT’S BEEN quite the week for British star Riz Ahmed as the starting gun for this year’s awards season has been fired.

He’s up for two major acting accolades and some are now predicting an Oscar nomination to follow on from his Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations this week.

The Oscars have been set back to April 25 this year, while the Golden Globes will take place on February 28 and SAG on April 4. Ahmed was nominated in the Golden Globes category of Best Performance by an Actor in Motion Picture for his lead role in ‘Sound of Metal’.

The film sees Ahmed play heavy metal drummer Ruben whose world begins to collapse around him as he struggles with profound hearing loss. Ahmed learnt both how to drum and sign language to pull off the role.

Ruben (Riz Ahmed) in ‘Sound of Metal’

Sound of Metal’ had a theatrical release last year and is available in the US on Amazon Prime now.

Acv saw the film at its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2019 and hailed the film as having depth and power and recognised that Ahmed’s performance was among his strongest in carrying the whole film on his shoulders.

We also spoke at TIFF 2019 to Ahmed and director Darius Marder and another ‘Sound of Metal’ actor Chelsea Lee on the red carpet just before the world saw the film for the first time.

Ahmed is up against Chadwick Boseman (‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’), Anthony Hopkins (‘The Father’)’ Gary Oldman (‘Monk’); and Tahir Rahim (‘The Mauritanian’). The 78th Golden Globes will take place on Sunday, February 28.

Ahmed has also been nominated for a SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for ‘Sound of Metal’, it was announced on Thursday (February 4). The shortlist is identical to the Golden Globes – announced the previous day – except that Steven Yeun (‘Minari’) appears in the list in the place of Rahim.

The star told film trade magazine Deadline on Wednesday (February 3) that it was good to have a light shone on a movie he felt personally close to and that he hugely enjoyed working on the independent film. (See link below for article).

Ahmed has also been speaking to British film journalist Kaleem Aftab about all his creative work. Ahmed appears on the front of the March edition film magazine, Sight & Sound with the heading, ‘Renaissance Man’.

There was further good news yesterday as his co-written ‘Mogul Mowgli’ , in which he also stars, has also just been announced in this year’s Bafta longlists.

Zed (Riz Ahmed) in ‘Mogul Mowgli’

Mogul Mowgli’ is one of 15 films in its Best Film category, one of 20 in its Best British Film section, one of 12 in the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. Ahmed co-wrote his first full length feature with the film’s director, American Bassam Tariq.

Ahmed appears in the Leading Actor longlist as well. More than 90 features and 16 shorts were announced in these lists on Thursday (February 4). The final shortlist will be announced on March 9 with the Baftas taking place on Sunday, April 11.

Riz Ahmed shot for ‘The Long Goodbye’
Pic: Kelly Mason

His most recent creative work, a musical stage drama, ‘The Long Goodbye’ is developed from his album of the same name and is available to watch on demand until March 1. It premiered late last year and was commissioned by Manchester International Festival and the US Brooklyn Academy of Music. See the link below to watch on demand…

On another front, ‘Mogul Mowgli’ is also available online as it forms part of a British Film Institute subscription offer. You can sign up free for the service to watch ‘Mogul Mowgli’ and other subscription exclusives (see the link below) in its 14-day free trial period.

Last month, Ahmed spoke to the media about his personal life, telling BBC star interviewer Louis Theroux that he got married to American novelist Fatima Farheen Mirza. Talking to US talk show host Jimmy Fallon, Ahmed also revealed that he first met her in a New York café, looking for a laptop plug point.

Update (8.2.21): AHMED’s Left Handed Films is also working with the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground Productions on a film version of Mohsin Hamid’s 2017 novel, ‘Exit West’, it was announced by Netflix on Friday (February 5). Ahmed is set to star in the film. Ahmed and Hamid are friends and talked about their work and their friendship at London Literature Festival at The Southbank Centre in November 2018.

Links & Things

The Long Goodbye watch on demand – ‘The Long Goodbye’ at MIF,GH9U,3I0SG1,1Y5FX,1

Background: The Long Goodbye –

Mogul Mowgli on BFI player: Click here for more

A BFI Blue-ray release of ‘Mogul Mowgli‘ will be out on February 22. It includes special features, compromising a commentary by Bassam Tariq and Riz Ahmed, deleted scenes, music videos, a short film – Daytimer, written and directed by Riz Ahmed and an illustrated booklet.

Sound of Metal review –

Sound of Metal ACV Interviews

Golden Globes –

Screen Actors Guild Award

Deadline –

Louis Theroux and Riz Ahmed –

Riz Ahmed talks to US talk show host Jimmy Fallon


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Written by Asian Culture Vulture