WATCH THE TRAILER BELOWIslam is the world’s second largest and fastest growing religion; the Hajj is its greatest public rite, and one of the five pillars of Islam. Last year three million Muslims from over a 125 countries made the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. For fourteen hundred years the Hajj has provided a spiritual destination to millions of men and women around the world.
ROADS TO MECCA follows the Muslim and non Muslim members of an international film crew as they attempt to make the first IMAX® movie ever made on the Hajj. The film interweaves IMAX® footage of the 14th century pilgrimage of the great Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta, with the filmmakers’ four year struggle to film in Saudi Arabia where cinema is banned, and in Mecca where entrance for non-Muslims is strictly forbidden.As Ibn Battuta reaches Mecca and performs the Hajj, the film portrays the personal journey of several Muslim filmmakers as they too experience the Hajj for the first time. The result is an unique portrait of one of Muslim history’s most enduring rites.From the deserts of Morocco to the heart of the Islamic world, ROADS TO MECCA presents some of the most spectacular images ever documented of the Hajj and reveals the ultimate meaning of its sacred rituals.
The making of Journey to Mecca, with a crew of hundreds from 24 countries, resulted in several historic achievements:
- Journey to Mecca is the largest documentary production ever to take place in Saudi Arabia.- Journey to Mecca is the first and only film granted ground access to the Holy Mosque in Mecca, where Cinematographer Afshin Javadi documented the Tawaf, the circumambulation of the Kabbah, on steadicam.- Journey to Mecca marks the first and only time IMAX has been filmed by the air during the Hajj, where cinematographer Ghassem Ebrahimian documented the Day of Standing for the first time on the giant screen- Journey to Mecca includes the longest animal caravan ever assembled for a dramatic film, including over a thousand animals and five hundred extras. - Journey to Mecca saw the construction of the first replica of the 14th century Kabbah in the deserts of Morocco- Journey to Mecca is the first IMAX film on Islamic culture, history or spirituality and the first dramatic film on one of the greatest travelers and explorers of all time, Ibn Battuta.- Journey to Mecca is the first dramatic documentary filmed simultaneously in English and Arabic using actors. - Journey to Mecca was premiered in Abu Dhabi on January 7th, 2009 on the largest outdoor film screen ever constructed, with stadium seating for 1,500 people (70' by 100').