BFI Distribution has picked up the UK rights to of Mogul Mowgli co-written, produced by and starring Riz Ahmed.
The film marks the debut fiction feature from the award-winning documentary filmmaker Bassam Tariq (These Birds Walk), who co-wrote the screenplay with Ahmed.
The film premiered at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020 where it won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize. It will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland in Autumn 2020.
The film follows the story of Zed (Riz Ahmed), a British Pakistani rapper, who, on the cusp of his first world tour, is struck down by an illness that threatens to derail his big break and forces him to face his past, his family, and the uncertainty of his legacy.
“I’m excited to share this deeply personal story with audiences, and for them to see the new cinematic language that Bassam has created to tell it – rich with references from Islamic and South Asian art,” said Riz Ahmed. “The BFI is the perfect home for a film as bold as this.”
Bassam Tariq is a writer and director from New York. He recently won the Short Film Jury Prize at Sundance for Ghosts of Sugar Land (2019) which is distributed by Netflix.
Mogul Mowgli is a Pulse Films and Left Handed Films production and produced in association with Silvertown Films, backed by BBC Films, Cinereach, SFFILM, Vice Studios and Ryot Films.
The UK and Ireland deal was negotiated with Jean-Felix Dealberto at international sales company Charades, by BFI Acquisitions Manager Laura Dos Santos.
An multi-generational and mixed nationality supporting cast includes Pakistani legend Alyy Khan, British rising star Nabhaan Rizwan (Informer), Sudha Bhuchar (the Tanzanian-born co-founder of Tamasha Theatre Company, which has popularised Asian Art into British mainstream culture), Singapore-born actor and singer-songwriter Anjana Vasan (Spider-Man: Far from Home), British star Aiysha Hart (Honour, Line of Duty), and poet and actor Hussain Manawer.
It’s expected Mogul Mowgli will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland in Autumn 2020.