Top prize! 14-year-old Ghanaian actor wows Venice Film Festival judges

Story highlights

  • Ghanaian Abraham Attah won a top film prize at the Venice Film Festival
  • His win came for his lead role in Netflix's first original feature movie, "Beasts of No Nation"

(CNN)While most 14-year-olds are busy worrying about their adolescence, Abraham Attah has bigger fish to fry -- he's already carved a name out for himself in the international film scene.

The teenager from the Ghanaian capital of Accra won the Marcello Mastroianni's Best Young Actor Award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival on Saturday for his lead role in Netflix's first original feature movie, "Beasts of No Nation."
    According to the film's director Cary Fukunaga, Abraham was working as a street vendor in Accra before being randomly chosen to take part in casting workshops for the blockbuster.
    "[He had] zero film experience, little education...but he became a somewhat professional actor, which was astounding to watch," the Emmy award-winning director was quoted saying by Business Insider in April.
    Abraham Attah was a complete newcomer when he was chosen to play in the movie.
    Abraham plays Agu, a young boy whose world is torn apart when he is recruited as a child soldier in the civil war raging through an unnamed West African country.
    Idris Elba, the Golden Globe-winning star of "Luther" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" plays the ruthless warlord who orders him into becoming a young killer.
    "We were playing football on our school field when a white man came and said, "We need some boys for a movie"," Abraham told a press conference in Venice. "We went to a TV station in Ghana for an audition and...I was cast."