Mogul Mowgli, the feature co-written, produced by and starring Riz Ahmed, has been picked up for the U.K. by BFI Distribution.
The film — which bowed in Berlin, winning the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, and comes from Pulse Films and Ahmed’s Left Handed Films banner — marks the directorial fiction feature debut of Sundance-winning documentary maker Bassam Tariq (These Birds Walk), who co-wrote it with Ahmed.
Mogul Mowgli follows the story of Zed (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. Alyy Khan, Nabhaan Rizwan, Sudha Bhuchar, Anjana Vasan, Aiysha Hart and Hussain Manawer also star.
“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 Ahmed. “The BFI is the perfect home for a film as bold as this.”
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 producers are Thomas Benski, Bennett McGhee, Ahmed, Michael Peay and the co-producer is Joanne Dixon. Eva Yates is executive producer for BBC Films.
The U.K. and Ireland deal was negotiated with Jean-Felix Dealberto at international sales company Charades, by BFI acquisitions manager Laura Dos Santos. The film will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland in Autumn 2020.