This 14-minute documentary, produced by Aleem Karmali, explores the significance of the various park and garden projects globally undertaken by the Ismaili Imamat. It explores their role as spiritual and communal spaces, in environmental stewardship, their capacity to act as springboards for economic development, and their role as educational spaces to teach about the rich diversity and heritage of Muslim cultures and civilisations. The film was released in 2018 by the Aga Khan Development Network.
A Century of Service: IVC 100
This 38-minute documentary, written and directed by Aleem Karmali for The Ismaili TV, was made to commemorate the centenary of the Ismaili Volunteer Corps in 2019. The film examines the long tradition of voluntary service and giving in Islamic traditions, the founding of the Ismaili Volunteer Corps in Bombay, India in 1919, the spread of the organization globally, and aspects of its work in serving both the Ismaili community and wider society. The film features interviews and footage from 25 countries in 11 different languages.
Heritage & Homage: The Jubilees of the Ismaili Imamat
This 33-minute film, written and directed by Aleem Karmali for The Ismaili in 2017, examines the allegiance (bay'a) pledged by Shia Ismaili Muslims to their spiritual leader, or Imam, as well as the history of the Jubilee celebrations of the two most recent Imams - Aga Khan III and Aga Khan IV. The film was released to the global Ismaili community on July 11, 2017, on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Aga Khan IV, marking his 60th year as the Ismaili Imam.
Below is a selection of educational documentary films that were either produced by Crescent Productions or directed by Aleem Karmali for other organizations.
This 10-minute video, written and directed by Aleem Karmali and commissioned by the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities, celebrates the establishment of the Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta in 2006. It explores what this position means to the Muslim community and the wider community in Edmonton and Canada. It also provides a historical exploration of the rich and diverse intellectual traditions of Muslim civilizations.
Advancing the Islamic Intellectual Tradition
Islamic Mysticism: An Introduction to Sufi Islam
This 6-minute video, directed by Aleem Karmali, offers an introduction to the history, practices, and beliefs of Sufi Islam. Sufism, or tasawwuf in Arabic, is practiced by many Muslims around the world, both Shia and Sunni, as a personal, mystical, or esoteric path to God. The video includes poetry by Mawlana Rumi and Ibn Arabi, and Mevlevi whirling dervish performances. The video was initially produced for a Sufi music concert by Karim Gillani, held in Edmonton, Canada in 2006.
A Guiding Light: The Imamat of the Shia Ismaili Muslims
This 36-minute film, written and directed by Aleem Karmali for The Ismaili TV, explores the diverse of models of authority in Islam, focusing on the Shia articulation of hereditary leadership, known as Imamat. It also provides a brief overview of the history of the Ismaili Imamat over 14 centuries, culminating in the Imamat of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan. The film was released globally on the 63rd anniversary of the Aga Khan's accession as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, during the COVID-19 pandemic when the Ismaili community had to commemorate Imamat Day virtually.