2019 hasn’t been the most successful year for Pakistani cinema. Box office receipts have declined and cinema attendance has visibly been diminished since the huge collections of 2018. However, 2019 still delivered many gems at the local box office, and with those gems came great new talent. Whether in the acting department, the directing field, or any other, new talent managed to impress. Here are the few that made the best impressions on us at PakistaniCinema.Net
1) Kamal Khan: Director – “Laal Kabootar”
We at PakistaniCinema.Net have made no secret of the fact that we loved “Laal Kabootar”. It’s also been selected as Pakistan’s Official Entry to the Academy Award for ‘Best Foreign Film’ for 2019.
A major chunk of credit goes to the man behind the camera, Kamal Khan. His debut feature could perhaps be the crowning achievement of the new wave of Pakistani cinema, and certainly of 2019. Throughout the entirety of the film, he conveys how huge and merciless Karachi is, and yet, at the same time, how much hope there still is in the city. He gets top marks from us.
2) Ali Tariq: Playback Singer – “Wrong No. 2” & “Parey Hut Love”
Ali Tariq’s voice reverberated through theaters across Pakistan in 2019. With ‘Behka Na’ of “Parey Hut Love”, and ‘Tu Hi Har Rang Mein’ in “Wrong No. 2”, his voice found its way into the hearts of many around the country. With Pakistani cinema gearing up for a massive 2020, his future looks golden.
3) Zara Noor Abbas: Actress – “Chhalawa” & “Parey Hut Love”
Zara Noor Abbas made her debut in two of the highest-grossing films of the year in 2019. Her infectious smile and personality won over audiences instantly. She’s also starring in “Ehd-e-Wafa” which is currently topping the television charts. Zara definitely made a noticeable debut into cinema this year and the girl is here to stay.
4) Hania Chima and Kamil Chima: Producers – “Laal Kabootar”
Hania and Kamil Cheema had a lot riding on “Laal Kabootar”. It was a dark and gritty crime caper about the mean streets of Karachi. The film had well rounded characters, a great script, but not much mainstream appeal. Yet the gamble paid off.
The film was lauded by audiences and critics alike. It also raised the bar for Pakistani cinema and has been winning awards around the world. Both the producers deserve a pat on the back for risking so much to make great cinema.
5) Sherry Shah: Actress – “Durj”
While “Durj” didn’t prove to be a draw at the box office, it certain raised eyebrows for its controversial subject matter. While reviews were quite mixed all around, one person that was singled out for praise unanimously was Sherry Shah. She was awesome, in every sense of the word. Her visceral performance and dedication to the role was equal to that of Shamoon Abbasi’s. There were even moments when her performance imbued the audience with genuine empathy. That’s acting you can’t learn. That’s talent right there.
6) Saqib Malik: Director – “Baaji”
Saqib Malik was the man behind the camera that brought Meera back to the silver screen. In the interview with PakistaniCinema.Net, he claimed that making “Baaji” was the most exhausting experience of his life, but it was all worth it. And It shows. “Baaji” is one of the most well shot and carefully hemmed films in the new wave. Every shot is well framed, the cinematography is on point, and the authenticity of executing film and theatre culture of the country is unprecedented. It’s old school filmmaking at its finest, and Saqib Malik deserves all the credit.