University of Portsmouth graduate rubbing shoulders with stars Spike Lee and Jordan Peele after turning life round
A GRADUATE has been rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars and royalty after setting up his own music film production company.
Since completing his film production degree at the University of Portsmouth, 21-year-old Ali Rasoul has travelled the world filming some of the big names in Afrobeats music.
Since starting his own production company, Ali has worked with Nike and Warner Brothers – and his clients have included Spike Lee, Jordan Peele and Tory Lanez.
Ali said: ‘People often ask me how did I do this? How can they do this? There’s no mystery. It’s about work, work, work.
‘Young people entering the industry are told they need to start at the bottom, be a runner, make the coffee. That’s not true. If you dream big, you can do whatever you want to.’
Ali’s rise to prominence has seen him meet Prince Charles, be interviewed by Lorraine Kelly and attend the Grammy Awards where he went to an after-party at Alicia Keys’ house.
Ali said: ‘I’ve never been to places like that, around so many people I look up to. I was at Alicia Keys’ house and there was Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum and Jessie J and they were all just there.
‘I thought if I’m here with these people, I belong here.’
Ali credits the city’s university with ‘opening doors’ and helping him get on the ‘right path’ after getting into trouble growing up in London as a teenager.
Ali said: ‘I wasn’t a well-behaved kid and one day I just thought I need more than this. The course taught me to dream big and create my own path.’
The BA film graduate got his big break after enrolling on a three-week course with the British Film Institute where he beat competition from 66,000 applicants.
Ali added: ‘When I was there we were surrounded by Oscar and Bafta winners. There were pictures of them everywhere and some big names were on the premises or came to speak to us. It was my moment of discovery.’
He now hopes his story can inspire other young people to aspire to their dreams.
Ali added: ‘Someone needs to believe in themselves for others to.’