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Meet Ahlan Williams of NSAW Productions in Riverside/Cerritos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ahlan Williams.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ahlan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been in love with the art of storytelling since I was about four years old. I started off wanting to write songs. There are so many pieces of paper, and notebooks filled with lyrics around my house. The stories were about  anything…school…not eating vegetables…being a princess, etc.

My goal was set on what I wanted to do until my final year at Cal State Fullerton. It became clear that due to the design of their Music program, I would need to degree in either Classical Music or Jazz. That was not my dream, I just wanted a pen, a piece of paper, and a nice beat to write to.

I thought my life was at a standstill, until my Counselor suggested looking at the Radio TV Film major and the related courses. After looking at the classes, I was sold, and I have been writing ever since. 

After graduating in 2015, I worked as an Intern or took short term assignments at various organizations in the Industry, to enhance my knowledge and grow. I learned about reality TV at Thinkfactory Media and HR from the Industry’s perspective, at Lionsgate Studios. At one of the other companies I interned for, I met my fellow cowriter/director, Nidheya Suresh on a night I will never forget. We were taping a documentary at the historical jazz club, “The Baked Potato,” and the Megadeth drummer, Nick Menza fell to his knees and had a heart attack. It was a tragic and very sad event.

It’s been said that tragedy bonds people, and I definitely agree. Over time, I realized that Nidheya had the same drive and determination for film as I did. Once we created our first film, “Idee Fixe,” we were motivated to keep creating more.

My most recent accomplishment is completing my first 25-minute short film, written solely on my own. It is in post-production and will soon be ready for view.

A love of storytelling has taken me down different paths, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

We’re always bombarded by, “how great it is to pursue your passion”, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely been an adjustment balancing my film life, and work life. I work full time as a HR Sr. Policy and Process Coordinator at Mattel Inc. Since it is the home of Barbie and Hotwheels, with an exciting creative culture, it allows me to still work in a Creative space.  As an upcoming professional in one lane, it is challenging to create the motivation to write once I get home at 9p.m. or on the weekends, when all I want to do is relax. Carving out the time or having the energy to still write after work are my two ongoing battles.

Please tell us about NSAW Productions.
NSAW Productions is a smaller film company with a current focus on Short Film content that appeals to a multi-cultural, multi-generational audience. We have received awards Our films have been recognized in the Oniros, Top Indy, FilmCon, Top Shorts, Los Angeles Film Awards and Upstate NY Horror Film festivals and various International Film Awards.

I direct and write short films with my partner Nidheya Suresh. I am known for writing Thriller and Drama films. It’s exciting to see how a complicated story can also be seen as art. Even though the story may unfold, there is always an ending. It might not be satisfying or what the audience would want to see, but there is always an ending.

I tend to not be so boxed in. From my imagination, I can take a story from my life or a friend’s life and add twists and turns to make you feel like you are on a roller-coaster ride, ha ha.

Life is complicated and sometimes hard. Yes- we want to escape our reality and jump into someone else’s peaceful life on television. However – we also want something to relate to and to see how that individual handles the problem. Maybe that outcome can help the person watching.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am only child, which means that I have always had to work ten times harder to put myself out there, whether it’s making friends, networking, or putting myself in uncomfortable situations to accomplish a task.

A few years ago – I was sitting in an Internship missing opportunities and letting my shyness take over. I soon realized that if I was not going to fight for this dream, that I should give it up. Now – I am always networking, writing more, and defining my future.

My two biggest supporters in helping me reach my dreams are my parents.
They have never stopped my dreams, and have always asked how they could  help. For example, my 3 Day shoot for my latest film, “For Better or For Worse” was filmed in my dining room – actors, crew and all. They had to be gone from 7a.m.- 8p.m. They have encouraged me all along as I complete my journey.
Looking forward to creating and sharing content that entertains through the years to come.

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