Pakistan and Turkey Forge Cinematic Union to Illuminate Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi’s Epoch

Pakistan and Turkey Forge Cinematic Union to Illuminate Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi’s Epoch

A joint artistic endeavor between Pakistan and Turkey has been unveiled, promising a riveting historical drama series that shall narrate the reign of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi, the visionary founder of the Ayyubi Empire. This captivating saga is poised for its debut in March 2022.

In an illuminating telephonic conversation with Independent Urdu, Dr. Kashif Ansari and Dr. Junaid Ali Shah of Ansari & Shah Films, the esteemed production house behind this ambitious venture, shared insights into the forthcoming production. Dr. Shah disclosed the meticulous design of the project, which will span three seasons, each encompassing 34 episodes. Dr. Ansari, distinguished for his medical practice embraced by prominent personalities across the United States and Pakistan, underscored the collaboration with Turkish partners, Akli Films. This renowned Turkish production house boasts a track record of crafting cinematic narratives surrounding eminent personalities and historical epochs, thereby underlining their resonance for this mutual endeavor. An accord has been established between Akli Films and Ansari & Shah Films, symbolizing a transcultural cinematic partnership.

As inquiries surfaced regarding the ensemble cast for this historical saga, Dr. Ansari unveiled a harmonious amalgamation of actors from both Pakistan and Turkey. This symphony of talent from diverse backgrounds will unite to breathe life into the narrative. Reflecting on the motivations that propelled this monumental undertaking, Dr. Ansari eloquently expounded that Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi’s enduring reverence across both Muslim and non-Muslim spheres fueled the initiative. “The idea of crafting a series about [Salahuddin] germinated from his history-making dominion, a universally esteemed and respected legacy amongst Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” he emphasized. 

A testament to transcendence, this series transcends cultural and national confines. Dr. Shah elucidated its broader canvas, focusing not only on Muslim audiences but also aiming to enlighten the six billion non-Muslims unaware of the indelible contributions of Muslim rulers. He emphasized that this endeavor seeks to render visible the valor, gallantry, and equitable ethos of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi.

The themes adroitly interwoven within this historical tapestry are those of the Quran, history, and religious harmony. Dr. Ansari enunciated the series’ narrative axis—governance guided by the Quran. “The series accentuates the interplay of the Quran, historical fabric, and religious harmony, seamlessly illustrating how the Quran can serve as a profound framework for just governance that resonates universally,” he articulated.

Delving into the rationale behind the synergy with a Turkish production house, Dr. Ansari underscored their shared vision, and the prowess exhibited by Akli Films in the realm of historical narratives. “Akli Films echoed our perspective, bringing their extensive experience and commitment to realize this magnum opus,” he intimated. Dr. Shah voiced the conviction that Pakistani dramas ought to transcend conventional narratives and stereotypical arcs, steering away from themes of familial discord. “Our dramas must transcend the surface-level tropes of domestic disputes. The vitality of our narratives isn’t commensurate with global standards,” he asserted.

Indeed, this project transcends the realm of artistic portrayal. Dr. Shah emphasized that it seeks to cultivate a holistic ecosystem by elevating technical excellence and engaging various sectors. This endeavor aspires to elevate Pakistan’s standing on the global cinematic stage, fostering the creation of comparable quality works in the future.

Dr. Ansari acknowledged the meticulous endeavor invested in this opus, with screenwriters engaging Turkish historians, researchers, and authors to ensure historical accuracy. He anticipated project completion by September, paving the way for comprehensive screen testing to breathe life into fully realized characters.

Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi, renowned as the ‘Conqueror of Jerusalem,’ carved an indelible legacy, establishing his dominion in 1138. The popularity of this iconic figure reverberates; Dr. Ansari expounded on how ‘Salahuddin Day’ is commemorated annually on June 9 in Norway. His magnanimity even earned him accolades from adversaries, as Richard I of England, colloquially known as ‘Lion Heart,’ extolled his honor for Salahuddin Ayyubi.

This collaborative narrative, nurtured by Ansari & Shah Films and Akli Films, resonates beyond cinematic bounds. Producer Emre Konuk, proprietor of Akli Films, shared exuberant news of this alliance on social media, signaling a triumphant step forward in this shared artistic odyssey.