In an unbroken chain spanning over 800 years, a form of music has inspired, entranced & enlightened people. Songs of the Sufi takes viewers on a musical and artistic journey that catalogues traditional “Qawwali”, the mystical music tradition of the Indian Subcontinent associated with 13th-century Sufi seminaries, which is enjoyed globally today.

The story is told from the lens of two families—A Qawwali lover who grew up with Qawwali around him, his mother a Sufi disciple who reminisces about her listening experiences as a teenager in India; and Qawwali singers who have been paying homage to this genre for 25 generations. Live performances of various Qawwalis, the use of secret syllables and odes written in the 13th century blend with modern Qawwalis to create a meditative visual and listening experience. Dr. Katherine Schofield, a renowned musicologist shares her scholarly insights. The film explores the history, culture, etiquette, and the universal message of love that Qawwali embodies.

The Crew

Producer and Executive Producer

Kamran Moin Anwar

Kamran took a year-long sabbatical from his finance career to create Songs of the Sufi, driven by his passion for Qawwali and his desire to conserve classical Qawwali roots and inform others about the unknown nuances of this spiritual music genre. Prior to this endeavor, he directed Rung, a widely acclaimed collection of traditional Qawwali CDs featuring extensive insights on the genre, performers, and Qawwali translations, each amassing 5 million+ YouTube views. He also researched and narrated Hidden Gems of Lahore, a Destinations Media series uncovering Lahore’s unique historic sites. He is a frequent speaker on art and culture and is an avid collector of miniature paintings, Indian silver, and contemporary Pakistani art.

Co Producer

Katherine Butler Schofield

Katherine Schofield is Head of the Department of Music at King’s College London and one of world’s leading scholars on raaga based music of the Mughal period. She has written and lectured extensively on the subject, is the recipient of a European Research Council Grant and a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. She is co-editor of Tellings and Texts: Music, Literature and Performance in North India (2015) and Monsoon Feelings: A History of Emotions in the Rain (2018).


Shahrukh Waheed

Shahrukh Waheed is a producer and filmmaker currently based in Karachi, Pakistan. His work explores the human condition through the intricacies of transference and tools of visual storytelling. He holds a BSc in Media Studies and an M.A in Digital Film Production from the University of Bedfordshire. His work has been featured at NYFF, TiFF & nominated at the Daytime Emmy Awards.


Husain Qaizar

Husain Qaizar is an Emmy nominated documentary filmmaker and editor known for his ability to capture the essence of human experiences through the lens of storytelling. With a passion for shedding light on the untold stories that shape our world, Husain Qaizar has dedicated their career to crafting emotionally resonant documentaries that bridge cultures, inspire empathy, and provoke meaningful conversations.


Nadir Siddiqui

Nadir Siddiqui, a Pakistani cinematographer, earned acclaim in 2023 for a nominated film at the 44th News and Doc Emmys and the Academy Awards. With a decade of experience, he collaborated with director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and worked on projects for HBO, Showtime, Vice, Al Jazeera, YouTube Red, and received an Emmy nod for sound work on an Oscar-winning film, shooting in eight countries.

Sound Recordist & Sound Editor

Anser Soomro

Anser Soomro, a Pakistani Sound Recordist and Designer, brings 9+ years of experience in film and TV sound to projects for Netflix, HBO, BBC, Vice, and more. Collaborating with top directors like Mehreen Jabbar, Sarmad Khoosat, and Asim Abbasi, he’s worked on hits like Paddington 2, HBO’s Axios, Coke Studio, and the award-winning film Zindagi Tamasha, honored at the 24th Busan International Film Festival and the 2021 Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Associate Producer

Humera Afzal

Humera is the Associate Producer of Songs of the Sufi. Born in Karachi and raised between Karachi and London, Humera has been an avid supporter and promoter of South Asian arts for over 20 years, having hosted many fundraisers with qawwals, ghazal singers, artists and poets. She is also a senior finance professional most latteraly as a CFO of several global businesses


Tauqeer Ahmed Niazi Qawwal and Ustad Ghulam Khusro

Subhan Ahmed Nizami Qawwal and Brothers

Habib Ahmed & Umer Manzoor Niazi Qawwal

Qawwal Abdullah Niazi, Waqas Niazi and Troupe

Qawal Najmuddin, Saifuddin & Brothers


Upcoming Screenings

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Past Screenings

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