101 Studios announced today the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights to “Mosul”, the directorial debut of Matthew Michael Carnahan. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival – receiving a standing ovation acknowledging standout performances from Adam Bessa and Suhail Dabbach amongst additional cast drawn from the Middle East, North Africa and the Iraqi diaspora. The film also recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. 101 Studios plans for the film to have a 2020 release.
Produced by AGBO and Condé Nast Entertainment, “Mosul” was shot in secret this past spring on location in the Middle East, exploring the true story of an elite police unit made up almost entirely of native sons of Mosul and their desperate fight, block-by-block to reclaim their city. “Mosul” is based on an extraordinary feat of journalism by Luke Mogelson in The New Yorker in which he embedded with the unit for two months. Shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore, “Mosul” is beautiful, epic and impossibly tense.
“Mosul” is written and directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan and produced by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (AGBO), Mike Larocca (AGBO), Jeremy Steckler for Conde Nast Entertainment (The Old Man and the Gun: Only the Brave) and Dawn Ostroff. The executive producers are Todd Makurath (AGBO), Christopher Markus (AGBO), Stephen McFeely (AGBO), Mohamed Al-Daradji (Son of Babylon), Patrick Newall (Anon), Wang Zhongjun and Wang Zhonglei.
“Our writer/director Matthew Michael Carnahan was the perfect artist to depict this uniquely regional story which champions a culture that has never really been championed on screen before. The heart of the movie depicts the innate desire to fight for country and home,” said Anthony and Joe Russo. Worldwide sales will be represented by Endeavor Content at AFM.
“Matthew Michael Carnahan’s incredible depiction of the brave men of the Nineveh SWAT team and the sacrifices they made for their own war-torn country resonates as a perspective to the Middle East to which we’re not accustomed,” said David Glasser, CEO, 101 Studios. “This extraordinary film produced by the Russo brothers possess the exact vigor and dedication to storytelling that we at 101 Studios continue to champion.”
Matthew Michael Carnahan said “I hadn’t even finished Luke Mogelson’s New Yorker article about the Nineveh SWAT Team when I knew I wanted to tell this story on film, and with actors from that part of the world, speaking their native language -so that someday we might be able to show a larger audience how remarkable the people on this Team are, how they’ve had to live their lives quite literally from one minute to the next, in the broken remains of their city, endlessly fighting a group trying to take everything from them. And by making a film about this subject, in this manner, maybe we could get at a larger truth about just how similar we as decent human beings are – despite differences in language, culture, or religion, we all want the same things for the people we love – it’s just that some people have to wade through hell to have a chance at those things. That this hope I had two years ago while reading an article has actually come to fruition is still hard to believe. I cannot say ‘thank you’ to Joe and Anthony Russo enough for providing me the opportunity, nor can I thank the people at Studio 101 enough for making this particular dream come true.”