Karim Hashmi makes his living shooting documentary films in war zones.


For this latest assignment, he’s travelling deep into Taliban territory for a world exclusive, an operation so clandestine he’s abandoned his usual army backup.


Forced to accept a last-minute change of guide, Karim and his three colleagues make their uneasy way into the heart of darkness.


But their new guide is a traitor who leads them into the lion’s den – they’re ambushed, beaten, and their driver is shot in the head. For Karim, the nightmare begins.


His brother Imran, abandoned and betrayed by the very people sent to support him, becomes Karim’s desperate lifeline in a frantic battle of wills.  


This is a gripping, haunting, deeply moving tale of two brothers pushed to the limits of human endurance.


The ultimate true story of survival, 165 DAYS is a powerful reminder of the incredible strength of the human spirit. 

165 DAYS is based on the personal experience of director Asad Qureshi. As one of only a handful of people in the world to survive Taliban captivity, he brings a unique vision to this powerful drama.  

"The main character, Karim, is an ordinary guy who’s pulled into a world beyond his control. I think we all wonder how we’d cope in extreme situations. I want to explore that, in a film that will be part personal drama, part psychological drama and will also have elements of the tense thriller and the action movie."

He'll adopt a naturalistic style to the material. "There’ll be no Hollywood gloss given to Pakistan – no yellow filter on the image – and I’ll present the bleak aspects of the human condition in stark reality. I want audiences to lean forward and feel pulled into the action."

He'll use pacing to underline urgency and fear but also loneliness and despair. Shot selection and camera movement will complement tempo. "There’ll be a lot of handheld scenes in captivity to capture our protagonists’ mental turmoil and extreme close-ups will be used for key details that fill the audience with the fear and revulsion the characters are feeling – a floor crawling with insects, a scorpion darting across the room, a filthy hole in the ground that serves as a toilet.


And sound will be a hugely important element of the film. Working with composer Kevin Godley, Asad will ensure the marriage of vision and sound will go well beyond what audiences are used to experiencing at the cinema. "From the outset, Kevin had a very thoughtful and creative response to the script and his approach to the soundscape is highly innovative, blurring the line between the sounds of the action and the sounds he'll create, reflecting the character’s psychological state. He's the ideal composer to enhance and develop the power of what we're seeing on the screen."  


It’s going to be a very interesting ride for filmmaker and audience alike.






Investment secured independently of the major studios benefits the finished movie in three important respects.


It allows producers maximum flexibility in their creative decisions, giving them the freedom to make a distinctive piece of work. 


It gives producers the freedom to hire trusted personnel (rather than studio-preferred or contractually tied personnel) to guarantee outstanding artistic merit.


And, crucially for ROI, independent productions have substantially fewer overheads than studio movies, allowing producers to bring their vision to the screen in a highly cost-effective way. 


The producers of 165 DAYS are committed to working only with selected and highly qualified investors.




19 December 2019 11.00 GMT


Alan Clark

165 DAYS is a compelling drama that tells the true story of one man’s harrowing ordeal.

Asad Qureshi was kidnapped by the Taliban while making a documentary on secret peace negotiations between the notorious paramilitary movement and the Pakistani government. He and three colleagues were brutally tortured for six months in a nightmare that ended in triumph but also in tragedy.

Now he’s telling his story on the big screen in a gripping thriller which he’s directing. He’s also co-written the script, together with Scotland-based screenwriter Howard Sargeant. The thirty-million-dollar production will be led by Asad’s company Avant-garde Films and will have distinguished producer Nigel Wooll at the helm. The blockbuster will feature some of the biggest names in the business both in front of and behind the camera.

Producer Nigel Wooll is fired up about the project: "We have a fantastic, fast-paced, high-octane script and we’re putting together a terrific team of creative individuals with very impressive credentials. And telling this incredible story is the guy it actually happened to! It’s cinematic gold dust and we all feel privileged and excited to be involved."

165 DAYS is expected to go into production in the spring of 2022.


In an episode of Christ Thrall's Bought The T-Shirt podcast, Asad is interviewed about his harrowing experience as a hostage of the Taliban. See the full Taken In Afghanistan interview here.

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The movie is based on Asad Qureshi's gripping memoir of the same name, published by Schiffer, which launches in September 2022 with events in New York City and London.





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Image credits: Lalesh Aldarwish, Kat Jayne, Jimmy Chan, Buhaan, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Dar Yasin, Penny Stephens-Fairfax, Gorka, Robert Nickelsberg, A Majeeda, Welli Khalifa, Cody, Patricia Bunting, Xusenru and Milan Vachhani.

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