akela is two boys without a fallback plan
After years in advertising agencies like Young & Rubicam, Lowe, and Saatchi & Saatchi, director Neel Kumar and cinematographer Umran Shaikh left to pursue their dream: Film. Since forming akela in 2011, they have created commercials, corporate films and documentaries for Emirates, Land Rover, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Toshiba, Samsung, Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, OSN, Qatar Airways, Sony, Sharp, Anta Sports and a number of Dubai-based startups.
They have just finished their first feature film, 'Beneath a Sea of Lights', and are working on their second: 'Epitaph'.
While they enjoy telling their own stories,
they've always loved helping brands bring theirs to life.
Beneath a Sea of Lights
Beneath a Sea of Lights follows the story of Caweys:
A Dubai billboard repairman tries to experience the products on his billboards as a con artist takes him under his wing.
akela's first feature film - directed by Neel Kumar and filmed by Umran Shaikh - the movie stars Oscar Nominee Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) and Jim Sarbh. Much of the story comes from insights from Neel and Umran's time spent in advertising and the various experiences they have had over the 40 years they have collectively lived in Dubai. Now in the final stages of post-production, Beneath a Sea of Lights will soon make its way to film festivals around the world.
An Indian and a Pakistani try to resolve their differences as they guard an empty construction site in the Dubai desert.
Produced by akela, directed by Neel Kumar and filmed by Umran Shaikh, Security was chosen as part of the official selection at over 17 international film festivals, earning wins and nominations for writing, direction, cinematography, editing, and acting.