The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Sempiternal: Ainan’s first film as director/writer/editor.

On the 15th December 2013, Ainan premiered his first short film, The Sempiternal, as director/writer/editor at the Malaysian Shorts film festival, at Art for Grabs, Annexe Central Market, and HELP University (on the 16th December 2013).

Ainan conceived, wrote, directed himself and edited the film, too, with a co-editor in Ignas Versinskas. This film marks Ainan’s first venture into a new realm of creativity building on his composition of the film score for the film Reflection, at the age of 12. This latter film was premiered at the Vilnius International Film festival earlier this year.

This recent revelation of artistic gifts, as writer, director and composer, may surprise some people, who have long seen him as a scientist...and in a way, it surprises us, too, to look back on how he was, when he was very young: ultra-focussed on Chemistry and Maths.

Ainan is beginning to explore the creativity within him – and I am doing what I can to facilitate him – in this case, making sure he has the crew and resources he needs, to make the films he wants to make (or whatever else it is he wants to make).

The Sempiternal will be entered for other festivals in the coming year. Eventually, we will make it available online for all to see – and as a permanent record of his first filmic work as writer/director/editor.

Incidentally, one of the judges of the Malaysian Shorts festival said after the film had been shown: “If we had an award for best actor, this would be it”. He was referring to Ainan’s film, The Sempiternal. I found this heartening, for one simple reason: I was the actor he was referring to! Thank you Diffan Norman, for your positive feedback.

The IMDB listing for The Sempiternal has begun to show on the site, at this time. It can be found here:

Ainan’s IMDB listing is here:

My IMDB listing is here:

Ignas Versinskas’ IMDB listing is here:

Diffan noted that Ainan was the youngest film-maker (13 years old at the time), to EVER show a film at the Malaysian Shorts in its entire ten year history. Malaysian Shorts is a quarterly event and in that ten year period, would have shown about 500 films. So, that Ainan should be the youngest person out of 500 or so film-makers, does put his achievement into context.

Well done Ainan!

Thanks to everyone who made this film possible, including Nabyla Feyaerts, Michael Hagerty-Roach (my body double) and Ignas Versinskas (the Director of Photography). 

A special thanks to Diffan Norman and Amir Muhammad (the founder of Malaysian Shorts), who were the judges for the competition, for choosing to show Ainan's film, The Sempiternal. Thank you.

Written by Valentine Cawley

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 7:49 PM 


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