Riz Ahmed inks first-look deal with Amazon Studios
James R | On 27, Jan 2021
Riz Ahmed’s production company Left Handed Films has inked a first-look dead with Amazon Studios.
The multi-hyphenate star of Sound of Metal and Mogul Mowgli began his career in music two decades ago, moving from rap-battle champion Riz MC to frontman for Swet Shop Boys. He most recently released The Long Goodbye album under his own name, with its accompanying short film winning Best UK Short at the Raindance Festival and nominated for Best British Short at the British Independent Film Awards.
Ahmed is currently generating awards buzz with Sound of Metal, an Amazon Studios release. Directed by Darius Marder, it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and follows a heavy-metal drummer whose life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing. He has also starred in HBO’s The Night Of, Four Lions and Venom, and recently wrapped production opposite Octavia Spencer in Invasion for Amazon Films.
Left Handed Films’ projects include Mogul Mowgli, a film co-written, starring and produced by Ahmed that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and is nominated for six BIFA Awards including Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Music, Debut Screenwriter, Best Cinematography and Best Sound. On the horizon is an adaptation of Exit West, the best-seller by Mohsin Hamid for Netflix in partnership with the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions and Joe and Anthony Russo’s AGBO.
Now, the company has inked a first-look television deal with Amazon Studios. AMC vet Allie Moore is coming aboard as Senior Vice President, Head of Television, to spearhead production and development alongside Ahmed.
“The Sound of Metal campaign has been a brilliant first experience of working with Amazon Studios. Their emphasis on creating community between bold creatives, their global reach, and their desire to nurture under-served audiences make it the perfect home for Left Handed – whose mission is to stretch culture,” said Riz Ahmed. “In building the team around us, we looked exhaustively for a one-of-a-kind TV executive to shape the next stage of this journey. We found that executive in Allie Moore – who has consistently championed bold, character-driven stories, whether from new or established voices. I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome her to the Left Handed family.”
“Riz is a tremendous talent and the vision to amplify stories from fresh and bold perspectives and voices aligns with ours perfectly,” commented Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We loved working with Riz on Sound of Metal and we’re really excited to continue and build on our relationship with him, Allie and the entire team at Left Handed Films.”
“As a longtime fan, I’m thrilled to join Riz, whose impeccable artistic track record, taste, and multi-faceted ambition are redefining content possibilities. It’s a tremendous opportunity to join his mission to advocate for creators’ visions, tell courageous stories, and to grow our partnership with Amazon,” added Allie Moore.