Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on Zeeshan (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama short film, Zeeshan (2017). Its music is composed by Salman Ahmed.



+ Crew
I. DOP, Edited, Written & Directed by Nabil Hasan

II. Production Design by Eruj Hadi

III. Co-Written by Ahmar Anwar

IV. Asst. Directed by Arman Tejani

V. Produced by Sara Saifi




+ Note

Zeeshan is a debuted short film by Nabil Hasan who is a graduate of SZABIST. This film is about an every man tired with mundaneness and mediocrity of life that surrounds him.

Kashif Hussain is one of the NAPA’s good actors and has performed in many successful hit plays. Some of them are, Ikhtiar (2017), Bye Mistake (2016), Ghosts (2019) and Proof (2017).






+ Full Cast

  1. Kashif Hussain as Zeeshan
  2. Aly Qaiser as Boss
  3. Almat as Mechanic
  4. Meer Aslam Lashari as Friend #1
  5. N/A as Friend #2
  6. Arman Tejani as Friend #3
  7. Shaista Rabab as Mother
  8. Hasan Rizvi as Father




+ Plot

Zeeshan is frustrated with his medium-social life and daily routine 9 to 5’ job that he does to support himself along with his parents. One night, he accidentally comes across a stunning beauty and decides to act upon it.




+ High Points
i – This film’s real charm is its cinematography. Nabil Hasan has able to capture the film’s cold mood on multiple occasions.

ii – Most of the scenes are non-vocal, which is acceptable since the visual scenery itself was progressing the story.

iii – The production design is convincible as the locations that were used are suitable for the film’s atmosphere.




+ Low Points
i – The film length is too short to gain interest.

ii – Zeeshan’s decision to take our President’s favorite move was too soon. It didn’t give enough room for the viewers to understand and accept it.




+ Overall
Zeeshan is a light drama film of a man who is a prisoner of his own life.




Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars


Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on Kachrachi (2018)

A review on Pakistani Satirical Short Film, Kachrachi (2018). its Production House and Distribution is done by 12AM Productions and Alley Films.



+ Crew

  1. Written, Directed & Produced by Ali Mehdi
  2. Co-Written by Babar Jamal, Ali Abbas Naqvi and Zaid Azad
  3. Cinematography by Osman Rafique
  4. Edited by Mohmmad Yousuf Ramzan
  5. Production Design by Aqib Jaffri




+ Musicians

  • Ustad Shan Ali (Dholak)
  • Taimoor Tajik (Guitars)




+ Note

The title Kachrachi is a combination of the Urdu word for trash (Kachra) and the city Karachi. It sarcastically touches the social issues that turned a once vibrant and dynamic metropolitan into disregard towards humanity, cleanliness, education and other basic necessities that contribute to a quality of life. The film’s music is composed by Shamoon Khatri.

Ali Mehdi has attained his formal education in film from Thames Valley University London, England. He has worked on countless film ventures including digital & corporate films in Pakistan and the Middle East. Whereas, Osman Rafique is a very talented cinematographer and has worked on many corporate projects. He has studied from Global Cinematography Institute, IVA and SAAMPT.

As for the writers, Babar Jamal is well-known NAPA’s theatre and TV writer. He has written a number of hit comedy plays such as Mere Samne Wali Khirki Mein (2017), Jungle Mein Mangal Bazar (2019), Aasman Se Ghira (2018) and many more. Ali Abbas Naqvi and Zaid Azad are KU graduates and have worked in many well-known short films. Ali has also acted in many short films including in Teeli videos by Dawn Media Group. In recent times, Ali Abbas Naqvi wrote the street-thriller, feature length film, Laal Kabootar (2019). This film has gained much attention and many positive reviews by critics & audience alike.

Kachrachi had its world premiere at IFFSA-Toronto. It has been screened in Washington DC and Pune, India. It also had a big screening at the prestigious Icon Theatres in Chicago on the 22nd of September at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2018.




+ Awards

  1. Best Acting – Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival 2018 (MSIFF)
  2. Award of Commendation Canada Shorts 2018
  3. Award of Merit – Global Shorts LA 2019
  4. Honorable Jury Mention Award – Bangalore Short Film Festival 2019




+ Full Cast

  • Nazar-ul-Hasan as (Nameless) Bum




+ Plot

A mad man living under the city bridge, reflects Karachi’s image to its people in general, for their negligence towards civilized living and how the city itself is being treated as.




+ High Points

i – The concept behind the protagonist goes beyond to what is been touched by the writers. What if he was not always a homeless man but someone part of the society? Until one day, he was betrayed or thrown out by their loved ones as ‘Trash’? Perhaps this is how he actually drove towards madness… once he recognizes the city’s reality in its products, services, behavior, lifestyle and ultimately the people’s true nature.

ii – Nazar-ul-Hasan’s performance is electrifying which blends in with the film’s realism theme to give a sensational result. This is why, he is still considered one of the top theatre artists of our times.

iii – The ending leads you to definition of the story arc.

iv – The practical design behind its costume, gave an uplift to the actor’s performance.

v – The makeup & hair styling made the actor’s physical transformation as the script demanded it to be.

vi – The shooting location and props used for its production design gave a very believable surrounding.

vii – The music brings the charm for watching this film in the first place.




+ Low Points

i – The name behind its cinematographer gave me much expectations… only after watching it, I was left with disappointment.




+ Overall

Unusually strange, Kachrachi is a spellbinding film with thought provoking narrative.



Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars


Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Hotline’ (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama Short Film, ‘Hotline’ (2017). The Assistant Directors are Hamza Nadir & Uzair Ali while it’s Production Manager and Score composer is Kamran Khan.



+ Crew

  • Coloring, Edited, Sound Mixing, Written, Directed & Produced by Ahmer Qureshi
  • Cinematography by Jawad Mangi
  • Costumes Designed by Sehrish Baseem
  • Production Design by Aqib Jafry
  • Score ‘Wajd’ is co-composed by Murad Ansari & Saad Ansari



+ Note

Hotline is a thesis film submitted by SZABIST students. It is about the emptiness of the two married couple lives.

The director, Ahmer Qureshi is a talented cinematographer himself yet he assigned Jawad Mangi to do this film’s direction of photography.



+ Full Cast

  1. Bilal Yousufzai as Husband
  2. Syed Frozan Mustafa as Wife
  3. Faiz M. Qazi as Co-worker #1
  4. Alizar Hussani as Co-worker #2
  5. Bisma Khan as Neighbor
  6. Sohail Khan as Boss



+ Plot

After some time of married life, the couple is suffering from a good social life and has been unable to fulfill their dreams. In a time like this, someone recommends to use the ‘Hotline’.



+ High Points
i – Ahmer Qureshi has played with the colors to make it a very memorable visualization film. It reminded me of the fame sci-fi Hollywood film ‘Blade Runner’ (1984).

ii – The cinematography and its lighting has done a wonderful job in its collaboration.

iii – Bilal Yousufzai has performed very well as job struggling, a husband who is lacking greatly in communicating with his wife. Other Honorable Mentions: Frozan Mustafa.

iv – The story makes the short film interesting and compelling to watch.


+ Low Points
i – Even if Bisma is a non-professional actress, her acting skills still needs improvement.

ii – There was a serious absence and in need of strong supporting role.


+ Overall
Visually dazzling & satisfying storytelling, Hotline is an impressive effort on its level of film making.



Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars


Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Kings Without Thrones’ (2017)

A review on Pakistani Documentary Short, ‘Kings Without Thrones’ (2017). The Score is composed by Adnan Dawood Khan.



+ Crew
I. Written, Directed & Produced by Alice Peter

II. Cinematography by Saad Yousuf Soomro & Umer Taimuri

III. Sound Mixing by Hussain Dhanani

IV. Editing by Arman Tejani

V. Executive Produced by Lucas Peter



+ Note

Kings without Thrones is a thesis short documentary film produced by SZABIST students. This film is based on Sheedi aka Makrani. It is an important documentary based on a group of people who are often ignored by their locals.

The facts to this film are provided by ‘Minority Rights Group International Periodic Reports’ and ‘Young Sheedi Welfare Organization’.



+ Interviews:

  1. Faiz Muhammad Bilali
  2. Samina Haider
  3. Salim
  4. Munir Sheedi
  5. Alishba Aziz Qambrani
  6. Abdul Aziz Sheedi
  7. Tanzila Ume Habiba



+ Plot

Sheedi are a group of people, label of an ethnic minority in Pakistan that has overtime transformed into the cultural equivalent of the terms by racist remarks as, ‘Black, Niger or Negro’.



+ High Points
i – Praiseworthy cinematography handled by the duo, who have made this short documentary very pleasant to watch.
ii – I have watched many short documentaries, professional or submitted by students. Alice Peter’s direction has made this documentary, an interesting one.

iii – The production design is carefully managed which helps in improvising its scenic designs.

iv – A different but important subject to highlight where we are shown a brief insight, of Sheedi’s cultures, values and history.


+ Low Points
i – This film needs to be made as documentary feature, to exploit more on this subject in able to create more awareness.


+ Overall
As short documentary, Kings without Thrones is a good start but it is appropriate for a feature length.



Rate: 3.25 out of 5 stars


Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Golimaar’ (2017)

A review on Pakistani Action-Thriller short film, ‘Golimaar’ (2017). The Associate Director is Akber Ladhani while its Executive Producer is Nooruddin Jalal.



+ Crew
I. Written & Directed by Inzamam Jalal

II. Cinematography by Jamil Alvi

III. Score by Amir Barolia

IV. Editing & Sound Mixing by Affan Ahmed Khan

V. Makeup & Hair Styling by Pervaz Iqbal



+ Note

Golimaar is a thesis film for SZABIST. This film’s Colorist, VFX Artist & Title Designer is Hassan Dar. The Assistant Directors are Sumair Shamsi and Mehsum Bin Tahir while the Co-Sound Mixer is Hasan Mujtaba. The Weapon Supervising is also done by Affan Ahmed Khan.

We have a number of talented veteran and other good stars from NAPA such as Syed Meesam Naqvi, Kulsoom Aftab, Amir Naqvi and Kaleem Ghouri. Inclusion of the lead star, Ein Ray Gumnaam from a short film ‘Mirror of a Mad Man’ (2016) and the director himself, Inzamam Jalal have played a role as well.



+ Full Cast

  1. Syed Meesam Naqvi as Shah Ji
  2. Amir Naqvi as Rashid Bhai
  3. Kulsoom Aftab as Bano
  4. Alina Chaudhry as Rashida Begum
  5. Asim as Babu
  6. Adnan as Baba
  7. Ayaz as Chiku
  8. Ahad as Goli
  9. Haadi as Chotu
  10. Saleem as Kallu Technician
  11. Kaleem Ghouri as Neighbor’s Guest
  12. Sam as Dabbu Player #1
  13. Ein Ray Gumnaam as Heronchi #1
  14. Inzamam Jalal as Dabbu Player #2 (Red T-Shirt)
  15. Bali as Heronchi #2




+ Plot

A mere glimpse, towards a gun inspired area where a lower middle class society resides in…



+ High Points
i – Magnificent direction by Inzamam who has able to bring this story into a remarkable short film based on a society of gun loving madness.

ii – This film’s spectacular cinematography is shot by none other than Jamil Alvi. Even his own films’ cinematography is so visually beautiful to confirm that this is truly is one of his best works to date. With a talented cinematographer, we have Inzamam Jalal and Affan Ahmed Khan in his assistance, working behind as a second unit who gave a, propound collaborated effort for this realistic environment short film.

iii – A thoroughly good script brings out a interesting film to show. Inzamam is not only an amazing director but also a very talented writer and a cinematographer too.

iv – Syed Meesam Naqvi plays role of Shah Ji, a quick temper father who has some respect and importance within the society he lives in. Meesam is already a well known name at NAPA as well as in the theatre world. He is one of those star performers, who should not be taken lightly.

v – Alina Chaudhry as Rashida Begum, is a first performance for me to witness and has able to bring viewers’ attention to herself through her dynamic acting. Other Honorable Mentions: Ayaz, Ahad and Asim.

vi – The symbolic meaning behind the signs shown in the film would make you watch it again.

vii – Effective work behind its editing, it’s interesting how the scenes are handled back n forth.

viii – The performances by everyone is one of the key reasons to why people would tend to watch this film.

ix – The combination of its production design as well as the locations has able to bring a suitable look for the film’s atmosphere.

x – The costumes designing did a marvelous work for the characters that were portrayed.


+ Low Points
i – This film is suitable for specify target audience only.



+ Overall
Golimaar is an insight towards the growing trend of ‘Gun Culture’ in those societies who proudly consider themselves as to be a part of greater good, but actually is a means of an outcome to self-destruction.



Rate: 4.75 out of 5 stars

Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Unlived – Eik Adhura Khwab’ (2017)

A review on Pakistani Short Film, ‘Unlived – Eik Adhura Khwab’ (2017). The Production Manager is Yasir Shah while its Asst. Director is Zeenat Ul Ain.



+ Crew
I. Directed by Natasha Baig

II. Cinematography by Khayyam Baig

III. Production Designed by Nashra Pir

IV. Music & Score by Sameer Baig & Absar Khan

V. Produced by Hassan Ali Effendi



+ Note

Unlived – Eik Adhura Khwab is a student thesis film for SZABIST.



+ Full Cast

  1. Dania Anwer as Meher
  2. Azlan Shah as Shahmir
  3. Maryam Suleman as Eesha
  4. Rukaiya Siddiqqui as Daadi
  5. Faheem Begum as Meher’s Mother
  6. Rida Khan as Shahmir’s Girlfriend



+ Plot

Meher is an introvert with almost no close friend to her. She lives with her mother, daadi in a small house and often dreams Shahmir to fall in love with her.



+ High Points
i – This short film is interesting enough to watch mainly because of a different, compelling story; especially how it unfolds once it starts to progress.
ii – Natasha Baig has able to pull this through with interesting direction to this mysterious character’s journey.
iii – A very acceptable performances by everyone in the cast.


+ Low Points
i – Although, it was satisfactory; yet the screenplay needs improvement.
ii – The twist ending may shock some but it was predictable.
iii – The inclusion of subplots are essential for better storytelling. Though, it’s your choice if want to put it in a short film or not.




+ Overall
Unlived – Eik Adhura Khwab, director’s imaginative world of fantasy, has an appealing taste of dark message.



Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Phir Aap’ (2017)

A review on Pakistani Comedy Short Film, ‘Phir Aap’ (2017). The Assistant Directors are Saad Baloch and Agha Ahad Husain while it’s Digital Colorist by Ashar Khalid.



+ Crew
I. Directed, Written & Production Design by Shayan Shahid

II. Cinematography by Raafay Israr

III. Makeup & Hairstyling by Huma

IV. Editing, Animation & Sound Mixing by Mustafa Jalali

V. Co-Sound Mixing by Shaima Wajab and Hasan Mujtabah Jafri.



+ Note

Phir Aap‘s cinematographer, Raafay Israr happens to be also the lead vocalist of his music band ‘The Evolution’.

There is a cameo by Agha Ahad Husain. The two main characters are real-life married couple.



+ Full Cast
1. Marya Saad as Maria / Raana / Bano
2. Saad Zameer Fareedi as Usman



+ Plot

Usman meets Maria on a blind date and falls in love at first sight. However, Maira’s ‘sisters’ are the ones who he should be concerned of before meeting her.



+ High Points
i – A wonderful performance by Marya Saad in multiple roles. The performances by the duo, makes the film more exciting. Other Honorable Mentions: Saad Fareedi

ii – The production design is well lit and colorful, just like the film is.

iii – The plot is comic, filled with fun.

iv – The costumes design is good, suited with the characters.

v – The illustration & animation is nicely done; an extra effort is put in.


+ Low Points
i – The time length was short for such a light comedy film.

ii – Although it is a different idea but cannot say that it is something new to watch.



+ Overall
Phir Aap is a light rom-com with its attributes of being a film to remember.



Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars


Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Baap’ (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama Short Film, ‘Baap’ (2017). The Associate Directors are Arman Tejani & Bilal Atif while it’s Co-Editing by Arman Tejani & Asif Ali.



+ Crew

  • Directed, Edited & Written by Jehanzaib Raza Hussain.
  • Cinematography by Nabil Hasan.
  • Production Design by Hadiqa Sohail & Mahnoor Ghayas.
  • Makeup & Hair Styling by Kaleem Ibrahim.
  • Sound Mixing by Musa M. Khan, Sana Chaudhry, Muneeb Baig, Abdul Moiz Kazi, Husain Dhanani.


+ Note

The songs are taken of Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar & Naseebo Lal. There is a cameo of Bilal Atif and Marya Saad (real wife of Saad Zameer) in the film.



+ Full Cast

  1. Saad Zameer Faridi as Akbar
  2. Amir Naqvi as Mehek
  3. Maria Sajid as Saiqa
  4. Muhammad Ahsan as Beita #1 (Son)
  5. Shahjahan Narejo as She-Male #1
  6. Ali Nasir Rehmani as She-Male #2
  7. Basit as She-Male #3
  8. N/A as Beita #2 (Son)



+ Plot

After the death of his beloved wife, Akbar struggles to find peace in such an old age.



+ High Points
i – Saad Zameer Faridi as Akbar has performed really good on-screen. His performance is one of the key reasons to watch this film in the first place. Other Honorable Mentions: Amir Naqvi.

ii – The story is a bit different to make the film keen to watch.

iii – Makeup & hair styling by Kaleem Ibrahim is nicely put.

iv – Good work by Nabil Hasan for its cinematography. The inserts and camera angles were well chosen.



+ Low Points
i – The inclusion of a good actor, Muhammad Ahsan turns out to be wasted. His character needs a much better writing.



+ Overall
Baap is a delightful film to enjoy solid performances and interesting story line.



Rate: 3.25 out of 5 stars


Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Wahim’ (2017)

A review on Pakistani drama Short Film, ‘Wahim’ (2017). The DOP (Doll House Sequence) is Farhat Wahid as well while it’s lighting by Iqra Shahid, Saif Shams & Muneeb Baig.



+ Crew

  • Directed, Production Mgt, Edited & Written by Farhat Wahid
  • Cinematography by Kamran Khan
  • Asst. Directed, Production Design & Co-Edited by Maria Sajid
  • Sound Mixing by Saif Shams
  • Co-Production Design by Sana Chaudhry



+ Note

Wahim is inspired by several films such as ‘Through a Glass Darkly’ (1961), ‘Persona’ (1966) and ‘Cries & Whispers’ (1972) all award-winning films by Ingmar Bergman.

Since this film is not for mass to watch with interest, therefore the actions behind its vague signs carries in-depth meaning.



+ Full Cast

  1. Roohi Ahmed as Sakina
  2. Saad Zameer Fareedi as (Husband)
  3. Meher Asif as Jamila
  4. Kulsoom Aftab as (Woman)
  5. Rania Asif as (Child’s Voice)



+ Plot

It is about Sakina, a schizophrenia living on a remote house with her husband & a nurse.



+ High Points
i – The performances by everyone is good.

ii – The production design is well taken care of. It is perceivable suited fit with the mood of the film.

iii – The cinematography is effective, makes the film more interesting to watch.


+ Low Points
i – The visual storytelling needs further improvement.

ii – There were many questions which remained unanswered. Such as the mehndi decoration on the lead character’s hands & feet, the last few scenes on confronting her husband, who is the child whose voices Sakina keeps hearing and many more.

iii – The noise pollution needed to be toned down or mute.



+ Overall
Wahim is a combination of thoughtful truths which has caught afterglows of fear, being socially isolated that is truly a noteworthy work.



Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars

Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Aliya’ (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama Short Film, ‘Aliya’ (2017).



+ Crew
I. Directed, Edited & Written by Fahad Alvi.
II. Cinematography by Mariam Desai & Umer Taimuri.
III. Asst Directed & Sound Mixing by Salman Khan



+ Note

Aliya is based on ‘Down Syndrome’ (genetic disorder) patient who happens be the child of the film couple.



+ Full Cast
1) Farah Vohra as Aliya

2) Kulsoom Aftab Khan as Fatima

3) Farhan Alam as Aslam

4) Junaid Saleem as Inspector

5) Ishtiaq as Omer



+ Plot

The married couple life is disturbed mainly due to their genetic disorder daughter, Aliya.



+ High Points
i – Farhan Alam plays a confused, troubled parent over his daughter (down syndrome) has performed convincingly. Other Honorable Mentions: Kulsoom Aftab.

ii – The direction is good, makes the film interesting.

iii – How the story takes the film and the way it is executed is appreciated by the audience.


+ Low Points
i – Everything else technically is average.

ii – The problems a genetic disorder patient needs to face especially by the parents and how to cope up with, was not shown in detail.


+ Overall
Aliya is definitely a work of art, mise-en-scène, which should not be missed in a lifetime!



Rate: 3.0 out of 5 stars