Cameras roll on House of Gods

ABC's first drama set amongst Muslim community is now filming in Western Sydney.

Filming is underway in Western Sydney on upcoming six-part drama series House of Gods for ABC.

Co-created by and starring Osamah Sami (Ali’s Wedding, Savage River) it also features Palestinian actor Kamel El Basha (The Insult) and Maia Abbas (Savage River).

The Matchbox Pictures production follows the lives of a prominent Iraqi family in Australia as they grapple with newfound power, politics and privilege when their charismatic patriarch, Sheikh Mohammad (Kamel El Basha) is elected Head Cleric of a local mosque.

Growing up as the son of a Head Cleric, co-creator and writer Osamah Sami was himself privy to the intricate politics and pressures involved in running a religious institution – a recipe to create a powerful and authentic story about a community told from inside.

Sami said: “Growing up as the son of a prominent Muslim cleric in Australia and spending most of my young adult life in a mosque, I craved to see my beloved Arab/ Iraqi community reflected in mainstream culture. This longing gave birth to House of Gods – a celebration of my community with all its colour and flaws. After an arduous and joyous development phase, I feel both proud and grateful to see the series being realised for the screen. Now over to the audience, inshallah.”

Winner of Best Male Actor at the 74th Venice International Film Festival (2017), Kamel El Basha said: “It’s an honour to be joining the cast of House of Gods. Islam and Arab Muslims in the West is not an easy topic to deal with – it is a great challenge for any actor. The script is written very well with great detail and authenticity, covering a variety of characters, raising important topics and opening a wide window to look at this community and, I hope, better understand it.”

Osamah, Kamel and Maia will be joined by Safia Arain (Bump), Simon Elrahi (Black Site), Priscilla Doueihy (Baby Teeth) and Majid Shokor (Nowhere Boys). Directed by Fadia Abboud, the series is executive produced by Matchbox Pictures’ Sheila Jayadev, and developed by Blake Ayshford. The series is written by Sami, Ayshford, Shafaei and Sarah Bassiuoni.

It will screen on ABC TV and ABC iview in 2023.

Production Credit: House of Gods is a Matchbox Pictures production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the ABC. Financed with support from Screen NSW. International sales by NBCUniversal Global Distribution. Matchbox Pictures is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group. Produced by Bree-Anne Sykes and executive produced by Blake Ayshford, Debbie Lee and Sheila Jayadev. ABC Executive Producers Sally Riley and Brett Sleigh.

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