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Riz Ahmed Talks Diverse Filmmaking at Berlin Film Fest: 'The Time For Asking Permission To Tell Our Stories Is Over'

Riz Ahmed Talks Diverse Filmmaking at Berlin Film Fest: 'The Time For Asking Permission To Tell Our Stories Is Over'

Riz Ahmed keeps it cute in a colorful sweatshirt while attending the photo call for his latest film Mogul Mowgli held during the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival at Grand Hyatt Hotel on (February 21) in Berlin, Germany.

The 37-yeare-old actor was joined at the event by his co-stars Aiysha Hart, Nabhaan Rizwan, Alyy Khan, Sudha Bhuchar and Hussain Manawer, as well as producers Thomas Benski, Bennett McGhee and Michael Peay, and director Bassam Tariq.

Alongside starring, Riz serves as a producer through his company Left Handed Films and came up with the idea with director Bassam, the pair co-wrote the screenplay together.

Riz plays Zed, a rapper on the cusp of fame who is suddenly struck down by a debilitating illness on the eve of his breakthrough tour, according to Deadline. “Haunted by religious iconography, he tries to come to terms with his heritage and his future.”

“Often, people are making films thinking about finding audiences. But sometimes the strongest, most uncompromising stories are told without any of that in mind,” Riz Ahmed expressed at the Berlin Film Festival. “They’re told because you have an artist at the center of it who has to tell the story, has to get something off their chest, that’s how this felt. At a moment when there is so much attention being put on artists and creators of color, how many portraits of these artists have we really had?”

“I feel like the time for asking people’s permission to tell our stories is over, it’s about stepping up and saying, as storytellers who are women or people of colour, ‘we have to do this ourselves’,” Riz continued. “We see the talent out there, we see the demand out there, it’s about creating a bridge.”

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Credit: Andreas Rentz; Photos: Getty
Posted to: 2020 Berlin Film Festival, Riz Ahmed

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