Riz Ahmed teams with BBC for Pakistani-British family drama
Pakistani-British actor Riz Ahmed has joined hands with the BBC, which has ordered a nine-part documentary series, Englistan, that will tell a tale of three generations of a British Pakistani family, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
Englistan is based on a British Pakistani family, the Latifs: Jamal and Fatima, their children Ashraf, Razia and Asim, and their grandchildren Zahed, Naseem and Ayesha. The hour-long series will take place over four decades.
Riz Ahmed to speak at the Lahore Literary Festival
As society around them rapidly shifts, the docudrama will follow different family members and generations through political movements, gangland rivalries, boom and bust, assimilation into the establishment, spiritual soul-searching and religious conflict.
But at the core is the story of a family and the questions they are forced to ask about whether ‘home’ is a country or a community.
Ahmed announced the news on social media accounts.
“I’m excited to be working with BBC Studios executive producer, Esther Springer and all the team at BBC Studios,” said Ahmed. “Englistan is an untold British story with universal themes and resonance. It’s the story I always wanted to tell, and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to do so.”
“Riz Ahmed is a phenomenal talent and ‘Englistan’ promises to be a hugely ambitious, layered and resonant drama about family and identity. New writing, massive canvas, the biggest issues; it is a perfect drama for BBC Two,” said Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two.
Wenger added, “Set against the familiar backdrop of the late 20th century but from a point of view which feels entirely new, Englistan is the story of the birth of multicultural Britain as seen from the inside. We are honored to be working with Riz on this epic, deeply personal story.”
Speaking to THR in 2016, Ahmed said that he hoped to direct as “much as possible” of his drama, following up on his debut short film, Daytimer, which bowed in Sundance in 2015, but added that he didn’t intend to cast himself.