PRODUCER TARAN DAVIES is co-founder and CEO of Cosmic Picture. In addition, under the banner of his film company Wicklow Films, which he founded in 1994, Davies has produced, directed and written several critically acclaimed films for television broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel and theatrical release in the United States. His first film, Around the Sacred Sea, told the story of his five-month expedition riding horseback around Siberia's Lake Baikal. While on this journey, he developed a fascination with Russia, its southern borderlands, and the many cultures and religions of the region, especially Islam. Davies subsequently made documentaries about the history of Islam, the roots of Jihad and the life of Muslims throughout much of the Islamic world.

His next film, The Land Beyond the River, about his journey through Central Asia, was the first film to be shot in Hi 8 to be broadcast nationwide by PBS. After witnessing the collapse of the World Trade Center, Davies decided to commit to making films that might shed light on conflict, its causes and effects in the region he knew best. His Afghan Stories, a feature documentary, premiered less than a year later at the Venice Film Festival in September 2002, which the ‘Anthology of Cult Movies' has described as one of the best documentary films ever made. He next completed the documentary Mountain Men and Holy Wars, "an eye-opening look at the centuries-old roots of Russia's bloody struggle with Islamic separatists in Chechnya and Daghestan," which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His films were featured in an Islamic film festival on the Sundance Channel in 2003, which TV Guide described as "Must See TV."

Born in England, Davies was educated at Eton College and Harvard University. He worked for a period as an investment banker with Loeb Partners, a private equity firm in New York City, where he arranged financing for numerous venture capital deals in the communications, media and real estate industry before he segued into film. He lives in New York.

Cast:

Ibn Battuta: Chems Eddine Zinoun
The Highwayman: Hassam Ghancy
Ibn Muzaffar: Nadim Sawalha
Hamza: Nabil Elouahabi

Crew:

Director/Co-Screenwriter: Bruce Neibaur
Executive Producer: Jake Eberts
Producer: Jonathan Barker
Producer: Dominic Cunningham-Reid
Producer: Taran Davies
Co-Producer: Dima Alansari
Co-Producer: Dounia Benjelloun
Co-Producer: Al-Zain Al-Sabah
Screenwriter: Tahir Shah
Screenwriter: Carl Knutson
Supervising: Producer Diane Roberts
Supervising: Producer Tony Thatcher
Line Producer: Daniel Ferguson
Director Of Photography: Matthew Williams
Production Designer: Mike Fowlie
Art Director: Philip Murphy
Editor: Jean-Marie Drot
Costume Designer: Emma Bellocq
Location Director - Mecca: Abdul Latif Salazar
Director Of Photography - Mecca: Afshin Javadi
Director Of Photography - Mecca: Ghasem Ebrahimian
Director of Photography – Mecca: Rafey Mahmood