'Hello Brother': Film about Christchurch mosque shootings in works - NZ Herald

A feature film based on the Christchurch mosque shootings is already in the works.

Director Moez Masoud has unveiled plans to make a movie about the shootings that claimed 51 lives on March 15.

The Egyptian writer-director-producer had stated his intention to make the film just nine days after the mosque attacks.

The film's tentative title is Hello Brother – the words spoken to the accused gunman as he entered the Al Noor Mosque and began shooting.

Film crew members had already visited Christchurch to meet officials and families of the victims of the shooting, as well as survivors and their families.

Rick Castaneda, who co-wrote the script with Masoud, arrived in Christchurch on Monday.

He has already spoken with Imam Gamal Fouda, leader of the Al Noor Masjid, and survivor of the attacks.

When contacted by the Herald yesterday, Fouda refused to talk about the possible movie.

Castaneda has also met with Linwood Mosque Imam Alabi Lateef Zirullah, who also survived the shooting at his mosque where seven worshippers were gunned down during Friday prayer.

Castaneda was coy about the project when approached by the Herald.

He said he was in Christchurch for a fortnight and trying to meet as many people as possible.

Castaneda confirmed it would be a dramatised movie, which he hoped would "get closer to the truth".

"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."

ما حدث ويحدث في نيوزيلندا يستحق التأريخ والتوثيق الإنساني.. يستحق أن يعيد الجميع نظرهم في (الآخر) بعيداً عن الجهل والتعصب والتطرف الذي هو ليس حكراً على أحد.. قريباً بإذن الله نشرع في إنتاج فيلم سينمائي عالمي.. للإنسانية… اسمه #HelloBrother pic.twitter.com/sD0IwA5Ziz

— Moez Masoud (@MoezMasoud) March 23, 2019

The film would follow a family "facing death and destruction in Afghanistan who escape with their lives", meshed with the Christchurch shootings.

Masoud is a film producer and Cambridge scholar. His movie Clash was the opening film at the Cannes film festival in 2016.

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 company.
He co-wrote the Hello Brother script with Castaneda, Hollywood newspaper Variety reported.

Masoud said that he wanted the film to "bring people all over the world together to discuss that day and continue a positive dialogue for a future based on genuine mutual understanding".

Masoud is also a noted public speaker who was once described by The Economist as one of the world's five most influential presenters of the Islamic tradition.