Egyptian filmmaker announces film on Christchurch mosque shootings

An Egyptian filmmaker has announced he will be producing a film based on the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Director Moez Masoud plans to make a movie about the terror attack that claimed 51 lives and injured dozens of others on March 15.

The Cairo-based writer, director, songwriter and noted public speaker made the announcement on Twitter just over a week after the attack.

"What has happened and is happening in New Zealand deserves history and human documentation," Masoud wrote. 

He said film would be called Hello Brother – the words spoken to the accused gunman as he entered the Al Noor mosque and opened fire. It will focus on a family that had escaped from Afghanistan.

"[On March 15] the world witnessed an abominable crime against humanity, essentially predicated on ignorance of the 'other'. All advocates of this atrocious hate crime, whether their motivations be political, religious or of any kind, are fundamentally complicit," Masoud wrote.

"We must unanimously and unequivocally condemn all acts of terror and the ignorance and hatred that lead to them, and encourage a global conciliatory movement towards genuine mutual understanding and peace."

Masoud will produce the New Zealand-set film through his Acamedia Pictures banner, which he founded.

Hollywood newspaper Variety reported Masoud co-wrote the script with Rick Castañeda.

Masoud told Variety he wanted the film to "bring people all over the world together to discuss that day and continue a positive dialogue for a future based on genuine mutual understanding".

"The story that Hello Brother will bring to audiences is just one step in the healing process, so that we might all better understand each other, and the root causes of hatred, racism, supremacy and terrorism," he said.

The film has received some backlash, with Kiwi director Jason Lei Howden saying he hoped New Zealand crews "refuse to work on it". 

"Please can everyone in NZ boycott this? Stop these ghouls from capitalizing on murder and terror," he wrote on Twitter.

"We were all bombarded with the viral video now we have to watch it reenacted? It's shameful. It gives the killer what he wanted: fame and notoriety."

Howden was the filmmaker behind the 2015 New Zealand comedy horror Deathgasm. His second feature film, Guns Akimbo, was partly filmed in Wellington last year with star Daniel Radcliffe.

Variety said Hello Brother was thought to be the first confirmed project about the Christchurch terror attack.

Acamedia was presenting the project to partners at the Cannes Film Festival, now under way in the south of France.

Other members of the film team were in Christchurch to meet officials and families of the victims of the shooting, as well as survivors and potential partners, Variety said.

Masoud produced the movie 2016 movie Clash about detainees in a police truck following the ousting of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.