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Moving Picture India makes doc for HBO US on the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl

MUMBAI: HBO Documentary Films in the US has teamed up with India's Moving Picture Company, First Take and Anant Singh's Distant Horizon for the feature documentary The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl.

Narrated by CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour, the film is directed and produced by Ahmed A. Jamal, Ramesh Sharma and Anant Singh.

Sharma says that the documentary took two years to make. "It took two years to make this 90 minute documentary film. It tracks the parallel lives of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and jihadi Omar Sheikh. I was doing a research for a film Jihad The Sword of islam. I came across this fascinating story of Pearl and Sheikh. Both were highly educated individuals from privileged backgrounds, the two men saw the world differently. What was interesting was that they had seemingly similar passion and commitment.

" Pearl was a humanist, who spent most of his career reporting from the Islamic world on a quest to promote cross-cultural understanding. he wanted to give the US a better understanding of Islam. the other was a militant who ultimately chose a deeply violent path to express his views. After 9/11, their paths crossed in Pakistan, with tragic consequences," said Sharma.

The debut of the documentary later this year will coincide with Pearl's birthday. In addition, the Daniel Pearl Foundation will coordinate worldwide events designed to foster cross-cultural understanding through music and journalism.

The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl will have its world premiere at The Tribeca Film Festival in New York in late April 2006, where it has been selected for special screening. It will also be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year.

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