James Newton’s feature length-documentary Janapar is a story about what happens when you break free of the status quo.
Tom Allen wanted more from life than his 9-to-5 desk job could give him, but when he left his family home in England he had no idea he would find himself in the middle of an African desert with malaria, or falling head-over-heels in love with a girl from Iran.
For four years, Tom filmed the events that unravelled in front of him with cinematic ambition and a rare honesty. In the summer of 2007 he cycled out of his village, with neither guidebooks, maps, a GPS unit nor a mobile phone, and spent the next twelve thousand miles wild-camping and living on the barest thread of a shoestring.
When he rolled into the tiny West Asian nation of Armenia and fell in love with Tenny, an Iranian-Armenian girl from Tehran, he was forced to rethink his plans. After getting a local job, he managed to save enough money to buy her a bike, and convinced the girl of his dreams to join him for the ride. But when they arrived in Iran to seek her parents permission, Tom’s plans were again shattered. Left with no choice, he continued alone through Syria, Jordan and Egypt to the Sahara Desert and East Africa, before hitching across pirated waters to Yemen — a journey on which he faced challenges he could never have imagined.
Janapar, a poetic Armenian word for "journey", is a romance and an adventure — and, at it's core, a humble and very human story about finding what you’re looking for when you least expect it.