Pakistani Cinema has grown leaps and bounds since 2013. The new wave has gained momentum and new films are being released nearly every month. However, there is a huge list of films that never got a release despite several updates on their production. Here is a list of films that are ostensibly in the pipeline, but have been stuck in development hell.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that the films listed here were announced at least 2 years ago. Hence any recently announced films which are undergoing shoots or post-production aren’t included here. This list also doesn’t claim to be a complete record of all the unreleased films stuck in the development pipeline. We recognize there may be many other projects that never got off the ground. However, we have tried to include as many as we possibly could.
This was supposed to be Meera’s directorial debut. She had apparently bought ‘an expensive camera from the US’ and was taking tuitions to brush up on her English speaking skills. ‘Oscar’ also entailed the formation of her production company, Meera Films.
And it seemed very much like a family production, with her brother, Ahsan, and her father Sarwar Shah, on board. Noor Bukhari was also said to be starring in the film and Khalid Hassan Khan, the writer of Meera’s Hotal, was writing the screenplay. The film would be shot in Germany and Pakistan. The film would center on a girl who enters the film industry and faces adversity before her film finally wins the coveted Oscar.
The shooting of the film was apparently completed in 2016, and it was supposed to be released shortly. However, since the announcements of the film in 2016, nothing more has transpired.
Meera’s return to cinema went over quite smoothly this year with Baaji, winning over critics and audiences alike. Perhaps now ‘Oscar’ will finally get a release date.
The trailer for Kolachi first hit YouTube back in 2011. It starred Shahroz Sabzwari, Summer Nicks (the co-director from Operation 021), and a host of other actors. The trailer showed things going from bad to worse in the city of lights until a meteor hits wiping a huge chunk of humanity off the globe. The film was ostensibly about the lives of a few individuals in Karachi and how they would approach their doomed fate. Everything about it felt new and exciting.
Clearly meant for a niche audience, the film was completely in English and featured a very low budget look and feel. It was a co-production between Australia and Pakistan and was directed by Mansoor Mujahid (Seedlings).
However, as you can probably guess, the film never came out. Only a dormant facebook group and a teaser trailer remains of this once promising film.
Again there are very few slivers of information about this film. Shoot Heart began filming sometime in 2014/2015. The film starred Asad Zaman Khan and Rubab and was being shot in Karachi at the same time as Halla Gulla and Dekh Magar Pyaar Se. However, unlike those projects, there has been no mention of Shoot Heart even getting a release date.
No, this is not the film that was released in 2016 by Ashir Azeem. Malik is actually about the real estate tycoon Malik Riaz.
The trailer for this film dropped without much fanfare in 2014. It featured Humayun Saeed in a young and middle aged avatar of Malik Riaz, the infamous land tycoon and founder of Bahria Town. It also featured Urwa Hocane as his wife. The trailer was broken in to several scenes, one with a young and poor Malik Riaz tending to his young daughter and the others with him having become the land tycoon. The climactic scene showed him confronting reporters and confessing that he had indeed bought the politicians and judges that he was accused of buying, but with his own money.
The trailer quickly caught fire when it was shared on the official Bahria Town Facebook page. However, there were no further updates about the film for many months. Then, in an interview about other projects like Bin Roye and JPNA, Humayun Saeed revealed that the project had been dropped. He said that it may well be revived under another name later on, but was shelved for now.
One can only guess why a film like Malik wasn’t made. Perhaps the studio faced pressure from Malik Riaz himself, or maybe not enough investors backed the project. Nothing is for certain. The only thing that is, is that Malik isn’t going to be released anytime soon.
Another interesting concept that we never got to see completed was Driven. It starred Adnan Shah Tipu, Amna Ilyas, and Javed Sheikh and was being directed by Michael S. U. Hudson, a British director. Hudson was said to be interested in exploring the growing film industry in Pakistan. He was also doing a fair bit of research for the film since what appealed to western audiences wouldn’t necessarily work for Pakistani audiences.
The film was to be a crime thriller based on real events from the life of Kamran Faiq, one of the actors in the film. It was to portray a “different Pakistan” and feature action sequences the like that the Pakistani audience hadn’t seen before. The storyboards made available to the public showed it to be so. The film would also be targeted towards a niche, English speaking audience.
A co-production between Pakistan, UK, Poland, and Russia, Driven looked like it could be an introduction to noir cinema for a modern Pakistani audience. However, after the initial announcements, things went quiet for good.
This was a strange project starring Ali Rehman and Uzair Jaswal. The trailer showed a group of friends engaging in shenanigans in the streets of Rawalpindi. It featured characters with names like “Candy”, ”Shera”, ”Sukraat”, ”Teddy”, “Jaanu”, ”German”, ”Dagger”, and ”Tabla”. The project was directed by Shahbaz Shigri.
Clearly a comedy film, the plot seemed to involve a local goon and a kidnapping. It was apparently a sequel to a short film starring Ali Rehman called Sole Search, which was also directed by Shahbaz Shigri. The film’s official Facebook page featured sporadic updates about upcoming screenings and post-production, however, the film was ultimately never released.
Perhaps it’ll be released on the internet someday.
A tremendously exciting project about a superhero team of children, Chillar Force was announced in the early 2017. The plot would center on this team which would help ordinary Pakistanis in trouble. An inaugural poster showed the team rescuing a bus teetering over a cliff.
While not the first film about superhero children in Pakistan, Chillar Force would certainly be the first live-action project of its kind in the country.
Calls for auditions were made soon after. Children could audition for the role by posting 1 minute videos on YouTube and filling out a form. Nearly ten thousand children between the ages of 8 and 12 were auditioned for the role, and the final cast was narrowed down to five. The film’s Twitter account even asked its audience whether they wanted Iman Ali or Ayesha Khan to be in the movie.
The film was being produced by Farhan Qaiser under the banner of Persia Films and FARS Entertainment. Shooting commenced in July of 2017 in the city of Karachi.
Sadly, there has been no update about the film since.
We at Pakistani Cinema.Net are eager to see more films made in the country. A lot of these projects are quite appealing to us personally as well. We hope that much of the films listed here find their way into theaters in the future.