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Alex Gibney to produce MGM/Tadmor’s Iranian judo bromance series

CM 02/08/2021 1

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Alex Gibney, one of the world’s most acclaimed documentary filmmakers, has signed on to be the executive producer for an upcoming scripted television series for MGM Television and Israel’s Tadmor Entertainment, based on the life story of Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei, who won a silver medal in in the Tokyo Olympics last week. 
Gibney won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side and has also produced and directed such movies and television series as Crime of the Century, Zero Days, Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief, The Armstrong Lie, Client 9, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and many others. If you’ve seen a documentary in the last 15 years, chances are it was one of his.
American-Iranian screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Stoning of Soraya M, a harrowing fact-based story of the oppression of women in Iran) is writing the script for the series.
Mollaei became a hero to many – and a villain to some in his native Iran – when he defected to Germany after he was ordered by Iranian officials to intentionally lose in the Tokyo 2019 World Championships so he would not have to compete against Israeli judoka Sagi Muki. This led to a friendship between Mollaei and Muki that has blossomed into a true bromance, which will be celebrated in the film.

Mollaei has visited Israel a number of times and has spoken of how much he appreciates the support he has received from Israelis. He dedicated his silver-medal win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to Israel. “Thank you to Israel for the good energy. This medal is dedicated also to Israel. I hope the Israelis are happy with this win,” he said, adding, Toda – the Hebrew word for “thank you.”
The project is being developed in collaboration with Mollaei and Muki as well as with the International Judo Federation (IJF), headed by president Marius Vizer, and will feature exclusive, never-before-seen footage of the athletes.
In addition to Gibney, the executive producers are Kevin Plunkett for Jigsaw Productions; Emilio Schenker, Michael Schmidt and Ariel Weisbrod on behalf of Tadmor Entertainment; Steve Stark on behalf of Toluca Pictures and Nowrasteh.
This is the second project to come out of MGM’s first-look deal with Tadmor Entertainment, following last year’s announcement of the new documentary series Eichmann – The Devil Speaks, which will premiere later this year on Israeli Public Broadcaster KAN.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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