By Art Holliday
LADUE, Mo. (KSDK) - A high school video project is turning into quite an adventure for John Burroughs sophomore Faraz Ahmad.
"The finished product, I was more happy than I thought I would be," Ahmad said.
Ahmad has a lot of reasons to be pleased about "Battles with Food," the 8-minute film he shot and edited for an independent class project. He got an 'A' grade and now he's getting recognition from an international film festival.
The Quatar Northwestern Film Festival is next month in Doha, Qatar. Hundreds of high school students from around the world will participate in the event, organized by The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN). The festival is a platform for young people worldwide to create films on local or global issues. Ahmad's film received four nominations.
"Best Picture, Best Sound, Best Editing, and Best Story," said Ahmad, who says winning, "would mean a lot. It would tell me that all the hard work and effort really paid off."
It's not a coincidence that Faraz Ahmad chose to make a film about struggling with food. It's a topic that hit close to home because he was once overweight.
"After I started losing weight I just became very passionate about eating healthy and exercising," he said. "I also know people who have eating disorders and I've seen the way it affects them and it's kind of hard to watch how it impacts their lives."
The high school sophomore is a first time film maker, who sees things he'll do better on future films.
"It's dark in that scene, or the music's too loud in that scene," said Ahmad, "but I also do see the good things."
And Ahmad plans to change his editing strategy. He waited to edit until the day before his project was due.
"I edited from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. straight, and I had a test the next day," he said.
The Qatar Northwestern Film Festival is April 11-13. Ahmad will be there on an all expenses paid trip.
"I'm so excited. I've never been to the country. I've always wanted to go. I'm very excited to see how the trip turns out," Ahmad said.