It has been announced that BFI Distribution has acquired 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. 

Riz Ahmed as Zed in MOGUL MOWGLI © Rob Youngson – Pulse Films / BBC

This is the debut fiction feature from the award-winning documentary filmmaker Bassam Tariq (These Birds Walk), who co-wrote the screenplay with Ahmed.

Mogul Mowgli 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.

It 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, Riz Ahmed, Michael Peay and the co-producer is Joanne Dixon. Eva Yates is Executive Producer for BBC Films.

The film stars 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.

Talking about the news, Stuart Brown, BFI Head of Programme and Acquisitions said: “Mogul Mowgli is a rare thing.  Every now and then a piece of art will feel like a jolt.  Bassam Tariq and Riz Ahmed have achieved that with this film, it’s electrifying.  We love how urgent it feels and how layered it is; it’s raw and sophisticated at the same time.  Riz’s performance is mesmerising, magnetic – his best ever.  We can’t wait to bring this film to audiences in the UK.”