Abdisalam Aato

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Abdisalam Aato
عبد السلام عاتو
Abdisalam Aato.jpg
Born 1970 (age 46–47)
Mogadishu, Somalia
Residence Columbus, Ohio
Nationality American
Occupation Film director, producer, entrepreneur, media consultant
Years active 2000s–present

Abdisalam Aato (Somali: Cabdisalaan Caato; Arabic: عبد السلام عاتو‎) (born 1970) is a Somali-American film director, producer, entrepreneur and media consultant. He is the founder of Olol Films, a production company at the forefront of the Somaliwood movement within the Somali film industry.

Personal life[edit]

Aato was born in the '70s in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.[1] After the civil war broke out in the early 1990s, he moved to Kenya, where he lived for over three years.[2]

In 1996, Aato traveled to the United States at the invitation of his brother.[1][2] He initially resided in Georgia with his entire family, prior to his father's death. Aato studied Media there at a local scholastic institute.[1] In 2001, he relocated to Columbus, Ohio, where he is currently based.[2]

Aato is married. He describes his wife as his driving inspiration.[1]

Career[edit]

While in Georgia, Aato began his professional career as a broadcaster and radio announcer at a community television station. He would write screenplays a minute at a time, subsequently moving on to scripting full-length feature films.[1] Aato later founded Olol Films, a Columbus-based production company that is at the forefront of the Somaliwood movement within the Somali film industry.[2]

In 2003, he released Rajo ("Hope"), his first feature-length Somali film. The movie was a relatively large production, with a helicopter and luxury vehicles hired for the purpose. It premiered to full houses on Thanksgiving at Studio 35 and a Minneapolis theater.[1]

As of 2007, Aato has produced, written and directed nine feature films and documentaries in his Cleveland Avenue studio. Two other productions were also in development.[2] He works closely with his wife on all of his film projects, wherein she provides consultation and advice on areas in need of improvement.[1]

Additionally, Aato launched Bartamaha, a multimedia website dedicated to Somali music, short films, news and culture.[2] He likewise hosts the weekly television and online program the Wargelin Show, which focuses on Somali politics and society.[3] As of 2013, Aato also serves as a Senior Media Advisor to the Federal Government of Somalia.[4]

Filmography[edit]

  • Rajo (2003)
  • Xaaskayga Araweelo (2006)
  • Ambad (2011)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mbatiah, Suleiman (April 4, 2011). "On a Mission to Market Somaliwood". On Islam. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Somaliwood: Columbus Has Become A Haven for Somali Filmmaking". The Other Paper. April 19, 2007. Retrieved January 25, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Wargelin Show". Bartamaha. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Abdisalam Aato". Retrieved May 18, 2013.