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‘American Jihad’ Docu Coming From Showtime; Inspired By ‘Patriots Day’

Deadline logo Deadline 1/31/2017 Dominic Patten
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With Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens from several Muslim majority nations causing detentions, protests, corporate jitters and fears it will become a terrorist recruiting tool overseas, domestic Jihadism is set to become the focus of a new documentary from Showtime.

Taking the working title American Jihad, the Showtime Documentary Films project from Alison Ellwood and executive producer Alex Gibney is scheduled to debut March 11. American Jihad focuses on how young men are radicalized stateside to commit terrorist acts and what can be done to prevent it. The docu is inspired, according to the premium cabler, by last year’s Patriots Day, the Peter Berg-directed and Mark Wahlberg-starring film about the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath. Before its Showtime premiere, American Jihad, which is co-produced by Berg’s Film 45, has been set to be the closing-night film at next month’s Big Sky Documentary Film Festival .

“The documentary also explores the impact of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen identified by the CIA as an al-Qaeda leader whose charismatic, highly personal recruitment tactics were responsible for influencing other Americans to the Jihadist cause,” said Showtime in a statement on the docu. “As the first American-born terrorist targeted and killed by a U.S. drone strike overseas, his death held worldwide political implications and invigorated the momentum of U.S. radicalism.”

In a move that may attract the attention of those in the corridors of power, the docu will examine what can be done to stop domestic Jihadism from blooming.

American Jihad comes from From Berg’s Film 45, CBS Films, 60 Minutes and Jigsaw Productions. Along with being directed by Ellwood (History Of The Eagles), the docu is produced by Sarah Dowland, who worked with Oscar winner Gibney on Zero Days. Stacey Offman of Jigsaw Productions joins Gibney as an EP  along with 60 Minutes’ Jeff Fager and Michael Radutzky, and Film 45’s Matt Goldberg, Brandon Carroll and John Logan Pierson. Richard Perello serves as co-executive producer.

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