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Residents say no to filming new HBO show Mogadishu, Minnesota

HBO won't be filming at a Cedar-Riverside apartment building after all.

HBO won't be filming at a Cedar-Riverside apartment building after all.

The network had requested to film scenes for the pilot of Mogadishu, Minnesota at the Cedar Highrise development in Minneapolis, but residents of the building at 1627 S. 6th St. voted unanimously Wednesday to deny HBO's request, according to the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA).

The MPHA had conditionally approved production of the show, but required that the resident council also approve it, saying Wednesday it respects their decision to deny HBO's request.

The resident council vote came after a meeting between residents and representatives from HBO, who described Mogadishu, Minnesota as a family drama that represents Somali-American life, according to reports.

There's been some concern from the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis that a show about terrorism recruitment might now show Somali-Americans in the best light. The neighborhood comprises one of the largest Somali populations in the entire country.

In response to the resident council's vote, HBO said it will "respect the wishes of the Cedars' tenants and we will not be filming there," according to MPR News.

But this doesn't put an end to HBO shooting in Minnesota. Three days of filming were going to be external shots of the Cedar Highrise development, but the Star Tribune says producers of the show were also considering the Charles Horn Towers on West 31st Street for filming.

MPR News notes that the show will also be filming at roughly a dozen other locations around the metro area.

Mogadishu, Minnesota

The series is being produced by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and was written by rapper K’naan Warsame.

According to Deadline, HBO just recently announced casting, including Elvis Nolasco, K.C. Collins, Rif Hutton, Ezana Alem, Hanad Abdirahman Abdi, Selam Tadese, Prince Abdi, Yusra Warsama and Liya Kebede. All of them would be regular characters if the show gets picked up beyond the pilot episode.

Variety has character descriptions for them, including Alem as a “Somali all-American boy, who is described as a handsome, excellent student who is planning to go away to college with his beautiful girlfriend, Lacy”; and Nolasco as the owner of a Hookah bar and an “upright citizen.”

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