Experiencing Interruptions?

The Journey Within

The 'Coke Studio' Origin Story - In a post 9/11 Pakistan faced with challenges of war and conflict, a quest for self-identity leads the inspirational journey of a music show to help reclaim the rich and vast musical heritage of this region. In doing so it has become one of the biggest music initiatives from this side of the world, bringing together unique cultural experiences and genres, including but not limited to folk, sufi, rock, pop and rap music. We explore this important period in music by discovering the show from its humble beginnings, living through its spirit to reach the heart of the experience, as artists unify eastern and western sounds to make music that will resonate across the globe; impacting all involved and planting the seeds for an ongoing inward reflection towards who we are as individuals and as a people.

  • Mian Adnan Ahmad
    Director
    Saving Grace, Save Me, Maggie's Heart, HEAL
  • Mian Adnan Ahmad
    Producer
  • Mian Adnan Ahmad
    Writer
  • Dani Sanchez-Lopez
    Cinematographer
  • Yukako Shimada
    Editor
  • Jeffrey Rhoten
    Sound Design
  • Mian Nauman Ahmad Kakakhel
    DIT / Technical Lead
  • Saad Hassan Khan
    Sound Recording
  • Adeel Babree
    Sound Recording
  • Adil Hashmi
    Associate Producers
  • Juan Carlos Diaz
    Associate Producers
  • Nasir Mehmood
    Line Producer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    World, Music
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 17 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 24, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    Pakistan
  • Country of Filming:
    Pakistan, Turkey, United States
  • Language:
    English, Panjabi, Persian, Urdu
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Full Bloom Film Festival 2015
    Statesville, North Carolina
    September 26, 2015
    World Premiere
    BEST FILM OF THE FESTIVAL
  • Parliament of the World's Religions 2015
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    October 13, 2015
    Utah
    TBD
  • Seattle South Asian Film Festival 2015
    Seattle
    October 23, 2015
    Seattle
    TBD
  • Orlando Film Festival 2015
    Orlando
    October 25, 2015
    Florida
    TBD
  • Film Southasia 2015
    Nepal
    November 19, 2015
    Asia
    TBD
  • Sofia Middle East & North Africa Region Film Festival 2016
    Bulgaria
    January 14, 2016
    Europe
    TBD
  • San Francisco Independent Film Festival / Noise Pop Film Series 2016
    San Francisco
    United States
    February 20, 2016
    California
  • Richmond International Film Festival 2016
    Richmond
    United States
    March 5, 2016
    Virginia
  • Machetanz Film Festival 2016
    Palmer
    United States
    June 2, 2016
    Alaska
    TBD
  • WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival 2016
    Houston
    United States
    Texas
    SILVER REMI AWARD
  • Jaffna International Film Festival 2016
    Jaffna
    Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Documentary Film Festival 2016
    Chittagong
    Bangladesh
  • Alpavirama, Asian Short & Documentary Film Festival 2016
    Ahmedabad
    India
  • DFW South Asian Film Festival 2017
    Dallas-Fort Worth
    United States
  • Hoboken International Film Festival 2017

    United States
  • Fulbright and Humphrey Alumni Conference 2016

    Pakistan
  • Karachi Conference 2016

    United States
  • Elon University - Interfaith Ripple Conference 2016

    United States
  • John Hopkins University 2016

    United States
  • India International Centre 2016

    India
  • Beyond Borders International Festival of Literature & Thought 2017, Scotland UK

    United Kingdom
    UK Premiere
  • PhotoDiversity Film Festival 2018
    New York
    United States
  • South Asian Film Festival (UC Davis) 2018
    Davis
    United States
  • PUAN International Conference 2018
    Islamabad
    Pakistan
  • Best of Fests 2019
    Dallas
    United States
    Best film to represent the DFW South Asian Film Festival
Director Biography - Mian Adnan Ahmad

Adnan is an award-winning Filmmaker from Pakistan whose work has screened in Asia, Europe and North America including being part of the First Cut showcase held at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) headquarters in Los Angeles and New York

He has been a finalist in a screenwriting competition held by the Royal Commonwealth Society and a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a graduate program in film Production in the U.S, where he also received the Leo Freedman Award for his work. His film HEAL is likely the most awarded film written and directed by a Pakistani filmmaker, winning on more than 20 occasions at competitions and film festivals worldwide, including receiving the festival's highest prize multiple times while competing against feature length films, documentaries and Oscar® nominated short films. His recently completed music docu-film on the origin story of 'Coke Studio' (The Journey Within) has also been a recipient of the coveted 'Best of Fest' award at it's premiere in the US and is presently screening at film festivals worldwide

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Director Statement

In some way or form we all have our identities connected through music, culture and artistic expression. Over time each coming generation can lose some of their own heritage in this relationship...by force, a lack of interest and internal chaos. In a country such as Pakistan which is challenged by all three, coupled with its people being portrayed negatively by the media and falling victim to an 'Us' vs 'Them' scenario, there is a greater need amongst the people to 'identify'. Not just from outside, but also from within. It is this searching for and embracing of the true essence of who we are, where we come from and the desire to break an unjust existing stereotype of Pakistan as a whole, that gave birth to a music show which hit a chord with the masses. It inspired by bringing to the fore the rich musical heritage of this region and helped ignite a renewed sense of pride amongst the people; uniting all divisions and backgrounds in celebrating the inherited musical expressions that were otherwise long forgotten.

This film looks back at the inspiring journey of how it all started while focusing on the show’s incredible music and those involved from its humble beginnings to the musical exploration and journey that continues to this day.