Often times kids discover their life’s passion at an early age. Such has been the case for Charlie Cracknell, who says he knew he wanted to be a professional filmmaker since he was nine years old when he made his first film.
The former New York Film Academy Los Angeles Summer Camp student, born in England and raised in Dubai for 14 years, has been actively pursuing the life of a filmmaker; and has the awards to prove it.
In the last four years, Charlie has entered the Dubai 48 Hour Film Project where he has had to write the script and original music, cast, direct, film and edit a movie in 48 hours. In 2011, Charlie’s film Alone was voted Top 10 in Dubai and he won the award for Best Use of Character. In 2012, his entry Dish of the Day made it into the finals and was voted the Favorite Film of the Screening Night and won the Grand Audience Award and the Award for Most Promising Filmmaker. In 2013 Dish of the Day also earned him a nomination for Best Young Filmmaker at the Murdoch Film Festival in Dubai.
In 2013 Charlie entered the 48 Hour Eco Film Project with his film Enviro-Man which won the award for Best Youth Film and screened at the 2013 Youth Eco Summit in Sydney, Australia. Enviro-Man then went on to win Best Junior Film at the 2014 THIMUN Qatar Film Festival. This film was also an official selection for the 2014 International Student Film Festival, Hollywood.
In 2014 Charlie produced a short commercial for a local ice cream company ‘Desert Chill’ which was very well received. Later, he submitted a film to the Sydney Parramatta SciFi Film festival in Australia. Doubles was a finalist and received a nomination for Best Special Effects.
Charlie then went on to enter the 2014 Dubai 48 Hour Film Project and his film Mission HXK was awarded prizes for Best Use of Prop, Best Costume, Best Writer, Best Director and Best Film runner up.
Charlie’s most recent film, an advocacy short film on the dangers of texting and driving entitled Safe Driving Saves Lives had been nominated for Best Picture and Best Editing awards at the 2015 THIMUN Qatar Film Festival in April where he took home the Best Editing Prize. Safe Driving Saves Lives later went on to win the award for Best Public Announcement in the 2015 International Student Film Festival Hollywood.
Charlie was featured as a “Dubai Home Grown Hero” in Dubai What’s On/Good Magazine and also in the Khaleej Times. That same year he also attended a Digital Filmmaking summer program at New York Film Academy where he was able to film on the famous Universal Studios backlot.
“NYFA not only taught me more about the technical aspects of filmmaking but the whole process of production as well,” said Cracknell.
In March 2016 after many requests for another Road Safety film, Charlie created Click, which was well received and endorsed by Road Safety UAE and later by VOX cinemas who are currently showing it in their 180 screens across the UAE, Oman and Lebanon for 2 months.
Charlie plans to continue making films while he completes his schooling and then further develop his skills at a university in the United States, and NYFA is certainly on his radar.