Last year, I was at the Cannes Film Festival shopping my script "Dear Brother" to producers at the Maison Des Scenaristes pitch competition. This year, I'm planning a live reading of the screenplay in NYC on 6/11, for a small audience, to be followed by a talk back moderated by religious scholar, and Barnard College faculty member, Hussein Rashid, Ph.D., a thought leader on Islam. Come out, support and engage! Tickets are FREE
Inspired by true events, Dear Brother is the fictional story of a Pakistani-American boxer who fights for his freedom after he's ensnared in an FBI counter-terrorism sting operation. Blending elements of the Denzel Washington classic, "The Hurricane" with Sylvester Stallone's "Rocky" franchise, Dear Brother is the boxing epic reflective of our times.
The goal of the evening is to spark dialogue around the issues of how Islamophobia pervades the American law enforcement and criminal justice systems, and provide an opportunity for the writer to receive feedback for future development.
I just finished casting the reading with these amazing actors below:
If you are interested in the background research that inspired the elements of the story, I’ve included links to articles and a Ted talk by journalist Will Potter below:
The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist, by Trevor Aaronson, The Intercept, March 16, 2015
The United States Wants the World to Forget These Prisoners, by Molly Crabapple, Creative Time Reports, July 21, 2014
Yassin at Ray Brook FCI, by Yassin Aref, Excerpts from a Letter from Yassin Aref, a prisoner at the Terre Haute Federal Prison’s CMU unit, to Carl Strock of the Schnectady Daily Gazette, September 10, 2007
The Secret U.S. Prisons You’ve Never Heard Of, by Will Potter, TED Fellow Retreat 2015 - Stream the Video Below.