open casting call back in June last year for a feature film which is now complete. My Brother The Devil tells the tale of two teenage brothers of Egyptian descent who are members of a London postcode gang.
It is the directorial debut of writer/director Sally El Hosaini, is the only British film selected to compete in the world cinema dramatic category at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival which takes place in January.
The film stars 25 year old James Floyd (represented by CAM) as the handsome Rashid, and Fady Elsayed as his younger brother Mo, alongside Saïd Taghmaoui. With 18 year old Letitia Wright (represented by Identity Agency Group), recently seen in Channel 4's Top Boy, as Aisha.
Fourteen-year-old Mo is a lonely, sensitive boy whose hunger for the rant and banter of buddies makes him prone to tread dangerous territories. He idolizes his handsome older brother, Rashid, a charismatic, well-respected member of a local gang, whose drug dealing enables “Rash” to provide for his family. Aching to be seen as a tough guy himself, Mo takes a job that unlocks a fateful turn of events and forces the brothers to confront their inner demons. It turns out that hate is easy. It is love and understanding that take real courage.
"One of the big influences on the story was the 7/7 tube bombings," director Sally El Hosaini told The Observer. "I was frustrated with the way British Muslim youth were being portrayed in the media. I have lived on a council estate in Hackney for the last 10 years and I knew the kids near me were not like that. I just wanted to make an honest film about them."
As well as attending Sundance labs in 2009, Hosaini spent time with young gang members, with the help of script adviser Aymen Hamdouchi. "I would feel a fraud making a film about something I didn't feel I had truly understood. So I did go commando. I found myself hanging on street corners at 3am with groups of boys."
My Brother the Devil was shot on location in Hackney last August and September, in the aftermath of the riots, and will premiere at Sundance with an eye to general release in summer 2012.