Marvi - the Mystic Muse

This film embarks on a journey through Pakistan with renowned singer Sanam Marvi to discover her roots in Sindh and Punjab, through the shrines of Saints that inspired her to deliver the message of Sufism that permeates the land. It follows her creative process to spread this message through live performances, and documents her challenges in spreading the Sufi message in Pakistan and all over the world.

  • Tanya Panjwani
  • Tanya Panjwani
  • Tanya Panjwani
  • Tanya Panjwani
  • Almas Baig
  • Afzal Askari, Almas Baig
    Assistant Editor
  • Elia Salman, Almas Baig
  • Danish Awan, Ali Raza
    Lighting, Sound
  • Sanam Marvi
    Key Cast
  • Naz Sahito
    Key Cast
  • Naseer Mirza
    Key Cast
  • Ustaad Fateh Ali Khan
    Key Cast
  • Mian Yousuf Salahuddin
    Key Cast
  • Hamid Ali Behlol
    Key Cast
  • Ghulam Rasool
    Key Cast
  • Inamullah Sheikh
    Key Cast
  • Erum Sainch
    Key Cast
    "Sanam Marvi (Young)"
  • Shahnawaz Sainch
    Key Cast
    "Ghulam Rasool (Young)"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    51 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 30, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Global Community Film Festival
    October 11, 2016
    Canadian Premiere
    Making a Difference (MADA) Award
  • WorldFest
    Houston, Texas
    United States
    April 29, 2017
    US Premiere
    Best Biographical Film
  • Mother Languages Literature Festival
    February 18, 2018
    Pakistan Premiere
    Best Film
  • FILUMS Festival
    February 19, 2017
    Documentary Selection
Director Biography - Tanya Panjwani

I have some of the most diverse and wide-ranging experiences Internationally, being born and raised Houston, Texas, then pursuing my undergraduate degree in Toronto, Canada, and finally moving on to the United Kingdom as one of twelve students chosen for a full three-year scholarship program to pursue an Islamic studies and Humanities degree, as well as an MSc in Media and Communications Governance at the London School of Economics. During this time I also carried out research projects on media, arts and culture based on geographical contexts such as Tunisia, India, Pakistan, Syria, and Kenya.

I also have academic and professional journalistic experience in South Asian studies and affairs, within the streams of print, broadcast, and digital. I completed an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree, majoring in both International Development and South Asian studies, focusing on arts and culture. I also pursued two independent studies during my masters program, one on Sufi music in the mainstream of Pakistan, and the other on youth-centered, grassroots social media initiatives in India. After my masters program, I went on to gain consultancies on the editorial and social media teams at Global News in Toronto and Al Jazeera English in Washington DC.

I also tried my hand in the corporate sector, completing multiple contracts with the Royal Bank of Canada as a Senior Communications Analyst, where I provided all the internal and external, executive-level communications requirements for the roll-out of a new financial reporting system across all platforms of the Bank worldwide.

More recently, I have pursued this passion project, where I produced a documentary about Sufi singer Sanam Marvi, as well as Sufi poetry and music in Pakistan in general. Last year I traveled throughout the country to interview people from various walks of life, as well as to follow Sanam Marvi's journey. My vision is to share the music and message of Sufism in South Asia with the world through this documentary.

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Director Statement

My vision was to showcase how one particular artist is able to internalize and embody her faith in a worldly sense, spreading the message of Sufism throughout the world through the medium of music. This is against the backdrop of a very restricted society, where a section of the population is battling certain societal elements. The documentary attempted to understand how one artist, Sanam Marvi, attempts to maneuver through these limitations to emerge as a prominent female Sufi singer in Pakistan and worldwide.