The film is called “They Are Us” and takes place in the week following the terrorist attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch in which 51 people were killed and 49 others injured. Ardern’s response to the terror attack was greeted around the world, and a photo of her hugging a victim was projected onto the side of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Less than a month after the attack, she rallied the New Zealand parliament to ban most semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles, as well as larger capacity magazines and parts that could convert weapons to fire in semi-automatic weapons.
Andrew Niccol (“The Truman Show”) directs Byrne in “They Are Us” and also wrote the screenplay. The film will be shown to buyers at the Cannes Virtual Market, FilmNation Entertainment will take care of international rights and CAA Media Finance will take care of national rights.
The producers of the film are Ayman Jamal, Stewart Till, Andrew Niccol and Philippa Campbell. The production will take place in New Zealand and the script was developed in consultation with several members of the mosques affected by the tragedy.
The film’s title, “They Are Us,” comes from Ardern’s powerful speech describing the victims of the attack, in which she also vowed not to name the perpetrators of the shooting.
“’They are us’ is not so much about the attack as it is about the response to the attack. How an unprecedented act of hatred was overcome by a wave of love and support, ”Niccol said in a statement. “The film is about our common humanity, which is why I think it will speak to people around the world. This is an example of how we should react when there is an attack on our fellow human beings. “
“We are excited to bring to market this inspiring true story about the positive impact, even in the darkest of times, that a strong leader can have on the lives of their constituents when they work in a place of compassion,” love and an unwavering belief in doing what’s right, ”FilmNation CEO Glen Basner said in a statement.
Rose Byrne recently starred in “Mrs. America ”and will then be seen in the Apple TV + series“ Physical ”and in“ Peter Rabbit 2 ”.
Niccol is represented by CAA. Byrne is represented by artists CAA and RGM.
For the record, a previous version of this story mentioned Andrew Niccol as the director of “The Truman Show”. He’s the writer.