Local actress finds hope in ‘Dakota’

Lola Sultan’s career in full bloom

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Lola Sultan Photo credit: @Punkrunts

Culver City Middle School student Lola Sultan has already appeared in numerous movies despite the fact that she’s still just 13. Her latest full-length release is the family adventure movie “Dakota,” about a grieving daughter finding peace through her father’s dog. “I started acting when I was about six years old,” Sultan told the News last week. “I started with really small modeling things, and then I was in a James Franco movie called “In Dubious Battle,” which is one of my first roles in a movie. That really helped me get that bigger job. It was the job that started it.” Between that and “Dakota,” Sultan appeared in a few commercials, and she landed more movie roles including one in a Flipper-esque film called “Bernie the Dolphin,” plus its sequel. It was through those dolphin movies that she got this most recent role. “Some of the people on the dolphin movies read the script and thought I’d be perfect for it,” she said. “They sent me the script and I loved it, and then I auditioned for it and then I got a call back. Then I got the job.” Sultan’s character, Alex Sanders, is the main character in the movie (perhaps alongside the dog). “Her dad was in the military and basically, the dog came back because the dad died,” Sultan said. “My character is sad about her dad not being there anymore and she doesn’t really want the dog. She’s not in a good mood. But the dog helps her come back to being her old self. Her character really changes. She goes from being closed, not wanting a dog, to loving the dog which I think is really cool.” The young actress said that the experience of filming with a great cast (which includes Abbie Cornish, Tim Rozon, Patrick Muldoon and Billy Baldwin) was wonderful. Plus, she got to take a trip. “We filmed in Italy so it was great,” she said. “We filmed during COVID last year, in March and April. It was amazing, because I’ve always wanted to go to Italy because I love Italian food so much. [I was there for] about a month, I would say.” So far, Sultan says that the reaction to her performance has been positive, and she’s earning herself some fans. “People have seen it in theaters and they’ve told me they loved it,” she said. “I went to go see it in a theater and there was a little girl, and she was like, ‘I would love to meet the main character.” I was there so I got to meet her. It was so sweet. Everyone has been really nice about it.” Sultan clearly has a bright future ahead of her, and she’s already working on her next projects. “I have something that I might be working on this summer that I’m really excited about,” she said. “I can’t say too much yet, but it’s looking like it’s going to happen. I’ve done two short films, and that’s about it.” Keep up to date with Lola Sultan at instagram.com/ lolasultanofficial

Local actress finds hope in ‘Dakota’