‘Avengers: Endgame’ directors explain why they bet on an Arabic-language movie about fighting ISIS as the first project for their new production company

Mosul AGBO

“Mosul,” an Iraq-set war movie starring unknown actors with all dialogue spoken in Arabic, is the first movie from the production company started by “Avengers: Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
The movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The Russo brothers, executive producer Mohamed Al-Daradji, and writer-director Matthew Michael Carnahan, spoke to Business Insider afterward about the challenges of getting this type of movie to audiences.
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After the world premiere of the Iraq-set war movie “Mosul” — the feature directing debut by “Deepwater Horizon” screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan — at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival on Monday, the producers headed a few blocks from the theater in downtown Toronto for an after-party at the posh Soho House.

Despite the serious tone of the movie, which takes a gripping look at the small SWAT unit made up of Iraqi police who fought ISIS for three years in the city of Mosul, the atmosphere was jovial. A major hurdle had just been cleared: the movie, still searching for distribution, had played at a big film festival. Could the combination of a major festival giving the movie notice and the star power of producers Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed the biggest box-office earner of all time with “Avengers: Endgame,” land “Mosul” a deal?

Tucked away in the corner of the party, the Russos and one of the film’s executive producers, Mohamed Al-Daradji, were figuring out just that. And they were in full pitch mode.

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“It’s incredibly valuable for us to make sure that American audiences see this movie and as many of them see it as possible,” Joe Russo told Business Insider. “The whole point of the film is that through understanding each other’s stories and having empathy for one another, can we heal and build a community? That’s the most important part of this film for us as producers.”

“And I think this movie is one of the most unique experiences you can ever have in a movie theater in the sense that it’s a story told from the Iraqi point of view,” Joe’s brother, Anthony, added. “That’s a very rare thing to be brought to America or globally. I think the movie has a built-in virtue to offer people an experience that they haven’t had in the movie theater.”

Though there have been numerous movies made about the US’ conflicts in the Middle East, few have been told from the locals’ point-of-view. And no American production had done it with an all Middle Eastern cast.

That’s what Carnahan knew he wanted to do when the Russos asked if he was interested in a potential movie or scripted show about the Iraqi SWAT team depicted in the 2017 New Yorker story, “The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS.”

“I wasn’t even done with the article when I knew I don’t just need to write …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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