Antonio Aakeel is an English actor. He was named by Screen International as a 2018 Star of Tomorrow for his leading role in Eaten by Lions. He is known for appearing in Tomb Raider and the BAFTA award-winning series Three Girls. Aakeel was also cast alongside Riz Ahmed in the 2016 thriller City of Tiny Lights.
Antonio Aakeel (Antonio Khela) was born in Wolverhampton, England, and moved around the West Midlands as a child. He caught the acting bug after being given a one-line role in a school nativity play and went on to hone his craft through local theatre, before being scouted by a talent agent. He speaks Punjabi and Hindi.
Aakeel starred as Nasir Baloch in the 2013 political short film The Line of Freedom directed by David Whitney. The film depicts the true story of a murdered student rights activist and premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival. Upon its release, the film was immediately met with controversy and allegedly resulted in Aakeel becoming a target of death threats. The film was subsequently prohibited in Pakistan and reportedly contributed to a national ban of IMDb.
He was cast alongside Riz Ahmed and Billie Piper in London crime thriller City of Tiny Lights directed by BAFTA winner Pete Travis. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2016 and released in UK cinemas April 2017.
In December 2016, Aakeel landed a supporting role in The Hungry, Film London's contemporary feature adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus alongside Naseeruddin Shah and Tisca Chopra, directed by Bornila Chatterjee. The Film premiered under special presentations at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
In 2013, he played the title role in the stage adaptation of Guantanamo Boy. The play ran at the Half Moon Theatre and toured nationally at Middle Temple Hall, Almeida Theatre, The Hat Factory, Mercury Theatre, Burnley Youth Theatre and The Drum Theatre. The Stage's Susan Elkin wrote Aakeel "is great as the distraught, anguished, terrified Khalid. The downhill spiral followed by the final return of a damaged-for-life boy to Rochdale is well handled too. He has a very expressive face."
In 2015, he played the lead role of Artie in Waiting for Garbo at the Crescent Theatre as part of the Birmingham Theatre Festival. Love Midlands Theatre reviewed the performance, commenting his "portrayal of a brash New Yorker falling apart is utterly convincing."
|2013||The Line of Freedom||Nasir Baloch|
|2016||City of Tiny Lights||'Young' Lovely|
|2017||The Hungry||Chirag Joshi|
|2017||Eaten by Lions||Omar|
|2018||Tomb Raider||Nitin Ahuja|
|2019||Badla||Sunny Singh Toor|
|Doctors||Mark 'Stotty' Stott|
|Moving On||Mati Ahmadi|
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