Earlier this year, we recommended Mogul Mowgli as an independent film to watch out for in 2020. And today, on 9 December 2020, British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) have announced the film receiving seven nominations!
Written by Tariq and Riz Ahmed, it tells the story of a Zed aka Zaheer (Riz Ahmed), a British Pakistani rapper, who decides to fly home after two years to visit the family just before his first international tour. In the midst of trying to reconnect with his parents and rummaging through cassettes of Qawwali music, he is suddenly struck down by an autoimmune disease. As his condition worsens and his big breakthrough moment is in danger of vanishing into thin air, Zed descends into a physical and emotional crisis, amplified by vivid hallucinations. Long-buried childhood memories resurface with a vengeance, mingling with his father’s (Alyy Khan) memories of fleeing India during Partition and confronting Zed with his repressed cultural heritage.
The leading cast is comprised of Riz Ahmed, Alyy Khan, Sudha Bhuchar, Nabhaan Rizwan, and Anjana Vasan. Although a British production, this film about a brown immigrant trying to find his place in the world, which will resonate with many Indian and South Asian film fans. Watch the trailer here.
The nominations it received today at BIFA are:
- BEST SCREENPLAY – Bassam Tariq
- BEST ACTOR – Riz Ahmed
- BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Alyy Khan
- DEBUT SCREENWRITER – Riz Ahmed
- BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Annika Summerson
- BEST MUSIC – Paul Corey
- BEST SOUND – Paul Davies, Robert Farr, Nigel Albermaniche, Ian Morgan
BIFA was founded in 1998, recognising independent talent in the UK. Find the full list of nominations here.
Mogul Mowgli is the debut film of Bassam Tariq, and debut writing by Riz Ahmed along with a great rap performance by him! It had its world premiere at the 70th Berlin Film Festival in February where it was adjudged as the FIPRESCI Prize winner. It also played at Melbourne Film Festival and London Film Festival.
The film was released in the United Kingdom on October 30, 2020, by BFI Distribution and is currently streaming on BFI Player and Curzon Home Cinema. And has a special screening via Our Screen on 14 December, followed by a Q&A with Riz Ahmed and Bassam Tariq. Tickets are £5 and available here. Go watch!