Beverly Hills award for Guyanese

Guyana Chronicle
March 24, 1999

CANADIAN-BASED, Mr. Mohamed Tanweer Husain, also known as Ken Husain, has become the first Guyanese and the second from the Caribbean to be honoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He and colleagues Robert Predovich, John Scott and Cameron Shearer each received the `Scientific and Technical Academy Award' last February 27, during a special dinner at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, United States, which was a premiere highlight of the Oscar season.

That ceremony, like that of last Sunday night's grand Oscar, recognised the work of persons who work "behind the scenes" in the movie production.

In a telephone interview yesterday from his hometown Mississauga, Canada, a still elated Husain explained that the accolade was for designing and implementing the Soundamaster Integrated Operations Nucleus (ION) operating environment.

The digital system, which controls the audio and video editing machines for the film and television industry, was developed from an earlier design, the Engineer/Technician told the Chronicle.

"It is used in the post production industry...after filming, the movie is taken back to the studio to be cleaned up. (The ION machine) controls all that," Husain said.

According to the former West Demerara Secondary School student, the ION is now being used by major producers like Universal Studios, Fox, Disney, Todd-AO and Sony.

The Canadian `Indo Caribbean World' newspaper wrote: "Mohamed is one of the people who designed and built the US$25,000 machine right here in Canada, and has made it the leading edge technology in its field. That's why the Academy is giving him one of its highly sought technical achievement plaques."

"I feel elated and gratified...that we were recognised," Husain said.

The eighth of 10 children born to the late Twayab and Naseema Husain, of Vreed-en-Hoop, West Demerara, the father of two said he left Guyana in 1985 to further develop himself.

In Canada, he attended the DeVry Technical College to become certified, and after that, "read all the books (about his career) that were available".

Very proudly, he recognises the success of younger brother, Zafar, who worked with the Guyana Trinidad Mutual Life (GTM) before migrating to Canada.

Now 40 years old, Husain and his wife, Pamee, have two daughters - Nadiyah, eight and Safiyah, three.

Close to two decades after leaving these shores, Husain still sounds very much Guyanese.

"I am a Guyanese at accent is very much the same," the awardee joked.

Very soon, he plans to return permanently to Guyana, where he hopes to utilise his skills for the development of his homeland. (KIM LUCAS)