Israeli-born California real estate developer-turned-filmmaker Sam Bacile, 56, is currently in hiding after the protest of his low-budget film “Innocence of Muslims” caused the death of the American Ambassador to Libya and three others at the US consulate in Benghazi.
Bacile, who wrote and directed the controversial film, spoke to the AP by phone from an undisclosed location, calling Islam “a cancer” and saying he “intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bacile is “a California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, [who] believes the movie will help his native land by exposing Islam’s flaws to the world.”
A search on IMDB shows Bacile has no other film credits to his name.
The low-budget, arguably poorly-edited and acted two-hour film that was shot in just three months during the summer of 2011 cost $5 million to make, required 59 actors and about 45 production crew members.
Bacile tells AP the film was financed with help from more than 100 Jewish donors.
The 13-minute English trailer on Youtube insults the prophet Muhammad, calling him a fraud and philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse and had “young girl” wives.
According to NBC’s Richard Engel, the film was brought to light in Egypt by a religious cleric speaking on TV.
While Bacile expressed remorse to AP after the attacks, he doesn’t think the deaths are is his fault, saying “I feel the security system (at the embassies) is no good … America should do something to change it.”
But while the 13-minute trailer has already led to four deaths, Bacile tells AP the film has only been shown once in its entirety to a mostly empty theater in Hollywood earlier this year.
Watch the controversial trailer below at your own risk: