Moez Masoud will helm “Hello Brother,” a movie about the deadly terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The film will follow a family facing death and destruction in Afghanistan who escape with their lives. Their story meshes with that of the recent attacks by a 28-year-old white supremacist on the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic center. The shootings claimed the lives of 51 worshipers and were partly live-streamed on social media.
Masoud is a producer, Cambridge scholar and noted public speaker. His movie, “Clash,” was the opening film in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2016.
“In Christchurch, on March 15, the world witnessed an unspeakable crime against humanity,” Masoud said. “The story that ‘Hello Brother’ will bring to audiences is just one step in the healing process, so that we might all better understand each other, and the root causes of hatred, racism, supremacy and terrorism.”
Films covering terror attacks include Paul Greengrass’ Netflix film “July 22” and Norwegian helmer Erik Poppe’s “U – July 22,” both about Norwegian neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre of 77 civilians in 2011. “Hello Brother” is thought to be the first confirmed project about the Christchurch shootings.
Masoud will produce the New Zealand-set film through his Acamedia Pictures banner. He co-wrote the “Hello Brother” script with Rick Castañeda. Mohamed Hefzy, whose “Yomeddine” was in competition at Cannes in 2018, and Eric Lagesse, whose “The Wound” was at Sundance in 2017, are on board as producers.
Acamedia is on the ground at Cannes presenting the project to partners. Other members of the film’s team are visiting Christchurch to meet officials and families of the victims of the shooting, as well as survivors and potential partners.
World leaders, and New Zealand film figures including Peter Jackson and Taika Waititi, expressed their sympathies, and solidarity with different cultural and religious groups, after the horrific shootings. “Hello Brother” writer-producer-director Masoud said that he wants his film “bring people all over the world together to discuss that day and continue a positive dialogue for a future based on genuine mutual understanding.”
(pictured: Aftermath of the New Zealand terror attack in March.)
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