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In the Name of God

Inspired by Islamic fables, the story follows Samuel, a devout woodcutter and retired soldier, who years ago fought in the Holy Land during the Crusades. He lives a solitary life now with his wife Bela in a rural region of the English country – dedicating much of his time to caring for his home and the less fortunate. One day, he hears word of a group of pagans worshipping a tree in a neighbouring forest and, outraged by such “heresy”, journeys out – determined to chop down this sacred tree. As he makes his way through the forest, he encounters the Devil – who is determined to stop him by any means necessary.

  • Stephen Noorshargh
  • Sulymaan Hameed
  • Stephen Noorshargh
  • Sulymaan Hameed
  • Linnéa Borg
  • Edmund Fargher
    Key Cast
  • Eric Colvin
    Key Cast
    "The Devil"
  • Daniella Sophia
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 25, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Vesuvius International Film Festival
    July 31, 2021
  • Screen Power FIlm Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 14, 2021
    Best Music
  • Soho Independent Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 18, 2021
    Official selection
Director Biography - Stephen Noorshargh, Sulymaan Hameed

Stephen Noorshargh and Sulymaan Hameed are directors and writers from the United Kingdom. The two met at Queen Mary University of London while pursuing their undergraduate in Film Studies. United by their passion for filmmaking and harmonious world views they, together, founded a production company named G22 Studios after graduating to continue on their love for filmmaking.

The philosophy that has informed their shared output is an interest in cultural exchange and conflict. Both regard themselves as products of East and West, being born in the latter with ethnic and cultural roots in the former (Iran and Pakistan respectively).

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Director Statement

The inception of our film, In the Name of God, stemmed from a number of places close to our hearts. Our fascination with the story, detailing an Islamic fable (as once told by Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak) woven into a Western setting, came from our personal roots in the Islamic East, whilst both being two children of diaspora born and raised in the West, who feel ourselves caught between the friction of these two historical civilizations.

By adapting this Islamic fable into the historical backdrop of the Crusades, an age notorious for the violence between the Christian and Muslim world, we wanted to touch upon the present climate of animosity that permeates throughout the West towards the East. It’s certainly no secret that the Islamic world is the subject of many Orientalist clichés in Europe and North America. Accusations of cultural invasion, blended with the perceived threat of terrorism, color the discourse surrounding these human beings, whom many of us in Britain see ourselves in.

The fusion of our film exists as a unique product of our own hybridity - combining our British and Iranian/Pakistani origins into a singular expression of cultural identity for the Eastern diaspora whose home is in Europe. Simultaneously, we hope to make viewers reflect upon the violence in the West towards the unknown Other, whilst asserting a shared fraternity between these two cultures along the lines of a universal struggle that all of humanity is confronted with. A struggle of painful uncertainty in the face of a truly unknowable existence.

Creating an ambitious historical fantasy film of this kind on a low budget proved to be a challenge, as our original inception included elaborate props and even a medieval cottage. However, the financial constraints only proved to push our creativity when it came to filmmaking, and in some cases, even improved the narrative. By changing the main location to a tent in the woods, we ended up furthering the plight of our main character, Samuel, and made his lapse in moral judgment when dealing with the Devil even more understandable. Another challenge we faced was the national lockdown. We utilized our time by fleshing out our prep for the film to its fullest extent, which meant that when the lockdown was lifted (even for a few weeks) we were able to capitalize on that and head straight into shooting.