Everyone remembers the kidnapping and brutal beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan. Some of us even followed the events on television and on the Internet, shocked at what depths our post-September 11 world had reached. The Journalist and The Jihadi - The Murder of Daniel Pearl tracks the parallel lives of Pearl and jihadi Omar Sheikh. Both men were highly educated and came from privileged backgrounds, and both were committed passionately to fixing the wrongs of their worlds. Pearl was a Renaissance man. He believed deeply that through his writings he could bridge the divide between the Islamic and the Western worlds. Sheikh was just the opposite. Although born in England and educated at the London School of Economics, he became an Islamist militant and believed that violence was the solution for his people. September 11 changed the world and put these two people on a path that would eventually end in tragedy. Ahmed Jamal and Ramesh Sharma have created a powerful film that documents the events leading up to Pearl's death and the way in which his death is still affecting his family.
Ramesh Sharma is an award-winning film and television producer-director based in India. His debut film Rumtek, about a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, won India's National Award for best short film in 1979. He also directed the critically acclaimed feature New Delhi Times, which was shown at numerous international film festivals. Recently, he has worked on the documentaries Jihad - The Sword of Islam and Afghanistan - The Taliban Years and Beyond, which will soon air on the Discovery Channel. Sharma is the chairman and managing director of Moving Picture Company Ltd. in India.
Ahmed Jamal earned his M.A. in filmmaking from the London Film School. He has made many entertaining and challenging documentaries for independent production company First Take Limited, including Dead Man Talking, The Bounty Hunter, and The Dancing Girls of Lahore. Jamal also directed the award-winning Who Will Cast the First Stone, as well as the 2002 feature Mad Dogs. He is getting ready to shoot his second feature film, currently titled The Gift Horse, which has been developed in conjunction with Screen Yorkshire, the Children's Film and Television Foundation, the BBC, and the UK Film Council.