HBO doc traces Daniel Pearl case

Jo Anne Kenny

HBO Documentary Films is producing a feature documentary that tracks the parallel lives of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl and jihadi Omar Sheikh.

Scheduled to debut this fall on HBO, The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl looks at the two highly educated men from privileged backgrounds, but who had passion and commitment for very different things – with one attempting to promote cross-cultural understanding and the other ending up a militant who chose violence to express his views.

The doc, whose broadcast coincides with Pearl's birthday, culminates with the pair's post-9/11 meeting in Pakistan that ends tragically.

On board the production with HBO is Indian prodco Moving Picture Company and UK indie First Take, while US distributor Distant Horizon holds worldwide rights.