// Journey to Mecca with Ibn Battuta on IMAX
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« on: Dec 31, 2008 11:42 PM »


Looks really cool!! But I don't see it playing anywhere Sad

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Journey to Mecca
Alternate Title(s): Journey to Mecca With Ibn Battuta; Formerly The Greatest Journey: Pilgrimage to Mecca in the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta


Ibn Battuta is one of the greatest travelers in history, journeying three times further than Marco Polo. JOURNEY TO MECCA IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF IBN BATTUTA tells the story of Ibn Battuta's perilous and awe-inspiring two year journey from Tangiers to Mecca in the 1320's, and includes extraordinary footage of the Hajj as it was experienced in the 14th century, and as it is experienced today by millions of people -- images never seen before on the Giant Screen.


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« Reply #1 on: Dec 31, 2008 11:42 PM »

Imagenation Abu Dhabi announces world premiere of ‘journey to mecca’
Mon, 22 Dec 2008 03:51 PM

Imagenation Abu Dhabi, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Company, announces the world premiere of ‘Journey to Mecca’, an historic production by Cosmic Picture and SK Films, released by SK Films in association with National Geographic.

The film, shot in ultra-high definition IMAX? format, chronicles the travels of Ibn Battuta on his first holy pilgrimage in 1325 as well as the contemporary Hajj as it is performed today. ‘Journey to Mecca’ will be screened in Arabic and English exclusively, outside and under the stars, on the grounds of the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, between 7-9 January 2009. The performances are free to attend.

Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, chairman of Abu Dhabi Media Company and Imagenation Abu Dhabi commented: “We are proud to offer everyone in Abu Dhabi the chance to witness this spectacular, inspirational film which provides a unique insight into one of history’s great journeys to Mecca. It will provide audiences locally and internationally with a powerful, larger-than-life cinematic experience that celebrates the true cultural and religious heritage of the Arab world.” Edward Borgerding, CEO of Abu Dhabi Media Company and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, said: “Imagenation is delighted to host the world premiere of a film which portrays a beautiful theme with a beautiful message. Journey to Mecca has the power to educate, entertain and unite diverse audiences in an engaging and accessible way. We are proud to be part of a collaboration that brings together the world class talents of Jake Eberts, Cosmic Picture and SK Films to benefit the community here in Abu Dhabi” Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley, ‘Journey to Mecca’ assembled a team of local and international technical and religious experts to bring to life the incredible and historic journey of Ibn Battuta.

The film was shot in Mecca with three IMAX? cameras and an 85 man crew. This was the first production granted permission to film the annual pilgrimage from within the Grand Mosque and from the air using the spectacular giant screen IMAX? format. Jake Eberts, executive producer and chairman of National Geographic Feature Films, added: “’Journey to Mecca’ is truly a huge cinematic achievement, not just in the careful planning and production behind it but also in its portrayal of one of the most significant acts of religious devotion in the world. IMAX is the only film format that could possibly capture the loneliness, the spectacle, and ultimately the grandeur of Ibn Battuta’s journey.

This is a story that the whole world, regardless of religion, needs to witness.” Taran Davies, Producer and CEO of Cosmic Picture, who conceived of the concept for 'Journey to Mecca' with fellow producer Dominic Cunningham-Reid in 2004, commented: "We set out to tell the story of one man's journey to Mecca to perform the Hajj - a story similar to the epic voyages made by millions of travelers for over a thousand years to this sacred city. We are extremely proud to present for the first time on IMAX the truly spectacular images of the Hajj as it was performed in the 14th century and today, and to show how this central pillar of the Islamic faith is a celebration of the Prophet Abraham, father to Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, and is, at its heart, about peace, friendship and equality."

Journey to Mecca tells the story of Ibn Battuta, (played by Chems Eddine Zinoun) a young scholar, who leaves Tangier in 1325 on an epic and perilous journey, travelling alone from his home in Morocco to reach Mecca, some 3,000 miles to the east. Along the route he meets an unlikely stranger, the Highwayman (played by Hassam Ghancy) who becomes his protector and eventual friend. ‘Journey to Mecca’ is dedicated to the memory of Chems Eddine Zinoun who passed away in a car accident shortly after completing the movie.

Commenting on the sad loss of the lead actor, Producer and CEO of SK Films, Jonathan Barker, said: "Chems told me he felt grateful and honoured to be in this film – especially if it meant more understanding of the richness of his culture and more respect between East and West. “My fellow producers and I are thrilled that the world premiere of this extraordinary and unique film is being aired in such an extraordinary and unique setting in Abu Dhabi. Watching Ibn Battuta travel to Mecca in 1325 and experiencing the film on the specially built giant outdoor IMAX screen together with thousands of other people will truly be an experience to remember.”

Commenting on the legacy of ‘Journey to Mecca’, Producer and Chairman, Cosmic Picture, Dominic Cunningham-Reid said: “The last four years making this film has been a wonderful journey for us. We are very proud of this, the first giant screen film ever made on the Hajj and deeply grateful to the thousands of people who contributed to its making - especially to our special group of investors and supporters who believed in the importance of this film from the beginning. We hope it will move people from all walks of life for generations to come. On behalf of all producers, cast and crew we thank Imagenation and Abu Dhabi Media Company for launching Journey to Mecca into the world in a manner Ibn Battuta himself would have appreciated - outdoors and under the stars. May it travel as far and wide into the world as he did.”



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« Reply #2 on: Jan 06, 2009 10:32 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro

As with The Road to Makkah, I think all the tickets have been sold now so will have to wait until these films come out on general release.

A quick Google though said that those of you in Michigan can see it from Jan 9 at the local IMAX



Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 15, 2009 10:40 PM »

ws,

cool ma'shallah! here is the trailer:


and a bbc documentary on ibn batuta... follow the links for the rest of it Wink

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« Reply #4 on: Jan 29, 2009 12:36 PM »

Journey to Mecca tells the story of Ibn Battuta, (played by Chems Eddine Zinoun) a young scholar, who leaves Tangier in 1325 on an epic and perilous journey, traveling alone from his home in Morocco to reach Mecca, some 3,000 miles to the east.

Ibn Battuta is besieged by countless obstacles as he makes his way across the North African desert to Mecca. Along the route he meets an unlikely stranger, the Highwayman (played by Hassam Ghancy) who becomes his paid protector and eventual friend. During his travels he is attacked by bandits, dehydrated by thirst, rescued by Bedouins, and forced to retrace his route by a war-locked Red Sea.

Ibn Battuta finally joins the legendary Damascus Caravan with thousands of pilgrims bound for Mecca for the final leg of what would become his 5,000 mile, 18 month long journey to Mecca.

When he arrives in Mecca, he is a man transformed. We then experience the Hajj as he did over 700 years ago, and, in recognition of its timelessness, we dissolve to the Hajj as it is still performed today, by millions of pilgrims, in some of the most extraordinary and moving IMAX® footage ever presented.

Ibn Battuta would not return home for almost 30 years, reaching over 40 countries and revisiting Mecca five more times to perform the Hajj. He would travel three times farther then Marco Polo. His legacy is one of the greatest travel journals ever recorded. A crater on the moon is named in his honour.

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« Reply #5 on: Feb 03, 2009 04:51 PM »

They guy who played Ibn Batuta in the film died in a car crash last year. Was a promising actor of course....bah.

salaam
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 09, 2009 02:44 AM »

salam

Ma'shallah this was pretty good. The cinematography is of course is amazing as you would expect for an IMAX movie, but the storyline and acting is good. The one thing about this movie is that you will *really* be so thankful to Allah for the ease in which we travel nowadays. It's really a great story, and they juxtapose his own Hajj with the current Hajj today. Some great imagery.

Seeing a few images on the screen definitely made the eyes a bit cooler...
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 09, 2009 06:55 AM »

ws,

that is so awesome!! i'm so glad they're expanding1! i think there's an imax about 2 hours from here i really hope it comes there!!

ps pic of the ibn battuta actor... the one who passed away perhaps? very tragic... he was in casablanca on his birthday when he died... inna lillah...
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 09, 2009 07:38 AM »

Article from Detroit free press:

Some scenes are too massive for a conventional movie screen. One such image is that of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered at Mecca, the Muslim holy site.


This becomes the centerpiece of "Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta," the new big-screen IMAX offering at the Henry Ford Museum.

Reaching Mecca can be a challenge for both the pilgrims and the filmmakers who dramatize the real-life journey of Ibn Battuta (Chems Eddine Zinoun), the 14th-Century scholar who made an epic, 5,000-mile trip across the North African desert before linking with a caravan that took him to Mecca.

With its dramatic desert landscapes and daunting obstacles, "Journey to Mecca" may remind you of "Lawrence of Arabia," especially when Ibn is robbed and then befriended by a highwayman who becomes his guide.

But Zinoun is no Peter O'Toole. The film's performances are wooden and the dialogue is stilted. You get some sense of the physical hardship but little about the man behind the quest.

All ends well in Mecca as the filmmakers cut between an ancient re-enactment of the ritual and the modern version, which draws millions of pilgrims each year. Because non-Muslims are not allowed to visit Mecca, the movie offers unprecedented access to the Grand Mosque, including breathtaking aerial views.

Most unforgettable are vistas of pilgrims perched on a mountainside or in a fast-motion circle around the Kaaba, the stone structure that is the epicenter of the holy site. It's here that "Journey to Mecca" becomes a cosmic experience as the tiny dots of pilgrims orbiting the monolith reflect earlier images of Ibn marveling at the star-filled heavens.
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 09, 2009 12:07 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro

Just as an aside to this thread, I read recently that there was a Dubai company trying to raise funds to make a new version of The Message which would definately be interesting.

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009 02:11 AM »

Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta will be coming to the San Diego area for one week only beginning June 2nd! The film will be shown at the Rueben H. Fleet Science Museum (1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA, 92101) at the following times:

Tuesday June 2nd, (1pm)
Friday June 5th, (3pm & 8pm)
Saturday June 6th, (1pm & 5pm)
Sunday June 7th, (3pm & 6pm)

Tickets range in price from $8.50 - $14.50 and can be purchased at the theatre's box office on the day of the show, or in advance.
For more information about showtimes or tickets call (619) 238-1233, or click on the following link:
https://tickets.rhfleet.org/searchEventsSummary.aro?sum=IMAX+Theater
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 06, 2010 08:33 AM »

Nice article on the filmakers. Wish they would show this all over this Hajj season!!!

========================================

The Long, Dusty Trek Toward Tolerance
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/movies/15mcne.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all



The vast caravan assembled for “Journey to Mecca.”

  

IN the parlance of the war in Iraq, firing on the enemy is “lighting up a hajji.”

Unlike dehumanizing insults adopted by Americans in other wars, “hajji” is actually an honorific. It is added to the name of one who has made the hajj, the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca.

Erasing that kind of prejudice is the reason Taran Davies — a half-English, half-American graduate of Eton and Harvard who was raised in the Church of England — has devoted himself to making films about Islam.

His travels around the Muslim world have led to five documentaries, each shot with a larger and larger camera. His first, “Around the Sacred Sea” in 1994, chronicled his five-month horseback trek around Lake Baikal in Siberia with a few Harvard classmates after their graduation in 1993. The others have taken him to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (“The Land Beyond the River”), Afghanistan (“Afghan Stories”) and Chechnya (“Mountain Men and Holy Wars”). Everywhere he went, he said, “all the roads I was on led to Mecca — and if we are to understand anything about the Islamic world, we need to understand the hajj.”

His latest and most ambitious project, “Journey to Mecca,” strives to impress Westerners with a side of Islam that he thinks gets short shrift in the news coverage of Islamic fundamentalism, focusing on the respect with which millions of Muslim pilgrims treat one another and how the hajj unites Muslims, Jews and Christians. The hajj has been filmed before; crowd shots from rooftop cameras are a staple of Arab news channels. But Mr. Davies and his director, Bruce Neibaur, have done it for the first time in Imax, a format in which the vastnesses of deserts and seas show up superbly on vastnesses of screen and in which aerial shots capture every face in a crowd. But it’s also a format that uses 85-pound cameras that must be reloaded every three minutes.

The hajj lasts a mere five days, during which almost three million people pour into a small city, putting any crew under terrific time and crowd-navigation pressures. And, to add one more difficulty level, as non-Muslims, Mr. Davies and his co-producer, Dominic Cunningham-Reid, could not enter.

The $13 million to make the 45-minute film was raised from private investors — Muslim and non-Muslim — in Morocco, France, the United States, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Distributed by SK Films and National Geographic and narrated by Ben Kingsley, the film had its premiere last month in Abu Dhabi and just won a competition in Paris against 11 giant-screen competitors. It is showing now in Dearborn, Mich., and in Toronto, and Mr. Davies is hunting for bookings at other Imax theaters.

It comes with quite an official endorsement: In a Jan. 29 letter to the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where it was shown privately last month, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence and ambassador to Britain and the United States and now chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, wrote, “Not only does the film represent an accurate and respectful portrayal of Islam, it provides a wonderful opportunity for Muslims to celebrate a revered hero in Ibn Battuta and to honor our faith.”

To make a compelling story line, footage of the 2007 pilgrimage is woven into a biography of Ibn Battuta, a religious but brashly overconfident young man of wealth and connections in Tangier who in 1325 set out to make the 3,000-mile journey alone.

After his first pilgrimage Ibn Battuta became Islam’s Marco Polo, traveling 75,000 miles over 29 years to Europe, India and China before compiling his memoirs in the Rihla, a 14th-century classic.

But the film concentrates only on his first hajj and recreates its high points — wild dashes pursued by highwaymen through the Atlas Mountains; a felucca ride up the languid Nile; ancient Damascus by night; the Grand Mosque of Mecca as it was in 1326.

Some of this is fairly standard Hollywood stuff. A four-inch-deep Moroccan stream was dammed to make a six-foot-deep trench, the water dyed green and lined with palms to resemble the Nile. And 200 artisans recreated the Grand Mosque, with 161 marbleized columns. But some of it required superhuman effort. The caravan — more than double the size of the one in “Lawrence of Arabia,” Mr. Davies said — included 320 camels and 660 donkeys, horses, sheep and goats. There were also 500 humans in period costume, and every 20th had a two-way radio tucked into his robes so that when the director called “Cut!” the long, winding line could halt without caroming into a cartoon pileup.

The film includes a stunning flyover shot taken just above the camels’ heads. How to keep the beasts from bolting?

“The trick was getting them used to the noise,” Mr. Cunningham-Reid said. “We started high, then crept lower and lower. Eventually they got bored.”

Mecca presented a different set of challenges. The filmmakers didn’t want the standard news shots, but to have their own cinematographers with the big cameras on bigger Steadicam mounts mingling with the thousands of pilgrims circling the Kabaa, the great black-curtained cube at the epicenter of Islam, and stoning the desert pillars where the Devil is said to have appeared to Abraham. They wanted aerial shots swooping past the Grand Mosque and right over the crowds on Mount Arafat, where Muhammad is believed to have delivered his farewell sermon.

At first, Mr. Cunningham-Reid said, “we were met with suspicion, resistance and inactivity.” He spent two years living in Saudi Arabia, a quest he called “A Million Cups of Tea,” seeking permissions from the 16 ministries that control different aspects of the hajj, all for what became 10 minutes of film. “In Arab countries you get things done by building friendships,” Mr. Cunningham-Reid said.

Because he, Mr. Neibaur and Mr. Davies were barred entry, they trained three all-Muslim crews in the Imax format and kept in touch by cellphone from 10 miles away.

The most devastating blow came just three weeks before shooting began: their rented oil-company helicopter was barred from Mecca airspace.

In dismay they asked the Royal Saudi Air Force for help. They were lent a Vietnam-era Huey with a bad case of the shakes. But it came with two gung-ho pilots who considered the mission an honor. “Even if we’d had the perfect helicopter from Europe or the States, we wouldn’t have gotten better pictures,” he said.

Mr. Davies, who lives in a TriBeCa loft with a table about the size of the Sahara and bits of African and Middle Eastern art, had taken a job in banking in 1996, pursuing filmmaking only on the side. But then came Sept. 11. When the towers fell — he was only a few blocks away and fled on his bicycle — he began to feel his calling again.

“It was soon very obvious that we were going to invade Afghanistan to find the culprits,” he said. “It was so clear what I had to do. I thought I could bring a different perspective on who the Afghans are.”

That same motivation led to “Journey to Mecca.”

“Everyone said: ‘Aren’t you insane? Isn’t it dangerous? Who’s even heard of Ibn Battuta?’ ” he said. “And now we’ve done all these things. We’re enormously grateful, and all the experts we’ve shown it to, 100 percent, feel we got it right. So we get to get beyond the conversation you see in the news about Islam as terrorism and send a message of peace. How cool is that?”
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