BFI Distribution proudly announces the acquisition of MOGUL MOWGLI, a film co-written, produced by and starring Emmy award-winning actor Riz Ahmed from Pulse Films and Ahmed’s Left Handed Films banner. It is 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.
MOGUL MOWGLI 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.”
Ahmed is a critically acclaimed actor, musician, and activist. He became one of Hollywood’s most sought-after artists following the explosive success of HBO’s THE NIGHT OF, written and created by the legendary Steven Zaillan, for which he won an Emmy Award, and was Golden Globe and SAG nominated. He went on to star in successful feature films including Disney’s ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, Jacques Audiard’s THE SISTERS BROTHERS and most-recently Sony/Marvel’s VENOM. Ahmed will be seen next starring in SOUND OF METAL, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to career-best performance reviews. Additionally, he was recently announced to star opposite Octavia Spencer in INVASION for Amazon Films. He first garnered industry attention in festival favourites FOUR LIONS and NIGHTCRAWLER. Ahmed’s musical journey has spanned two decades across battle rap, techno, the transatlantic success of Swet Shop Boys, and now his critically acclaimed 2020 release The Long Goodbye. The film’s title is taken from a Swet Shop Boys song and Ahmed’s music from The Long Goodbye features in the film. Jean-Felix Dealberto at Charades says: “We are excited to be partnering up again with the BFI on a strong British debut. The BFI has been a longstanding supporter of Bassam Tariq’s work. We really admire the way that they bring content to audiences and are looking forward to the upcoming release of MOGUL MOWGLI in its domestic territory.”
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.