Many of us have grown weary of the repetitive genres and storylines on our television screens. We’re seeking something fresh, aren’t we? Over the past few years, numerous Pakistani short films have garnered significant international acclaim, establishing themselves as some of the most-watched web series and shortfilms which also managed to get highlighted in international film festivals.

In today’s landscape, people are drawn to short films due to their ability to encapsulate various genres, including horror, comedy, and love stories, without the commitment of a two hour movie. Today we present you with our top picks from our best short films which are worth a watch.

1. Noor

Written by Farah Usman, Noor stars Sarwat Gilani, Omair Rana, Tanisha Shameem, Mizna Waqas, and Tasneem Ansari. This 17-minute short film prominently showcases a child artist in the leading role. The esteemed World Film Festival announced the winners for its online edition and acknowledged this project for its significant impact. It shed light on the issue of short and long-sightedness affecting millions of children, which, in turn, impacts their development, opportunities, and skills.

2. Rani

The Pakistani short film Rani features transgender model and activist Kami Sid. It was written and directed by Hammad Rizvi, produced by Akbar Allana and Sara Siddiqi, and was filmed on the streets of Karachi. This unique story follows the life of Rani, a transgender toy vendor whose life takes a profound turn when she discovers an abandoned infant and decides to become a parent. As a transgender individual, her choice to care for the child unveils some harsh realities she must confront.

Recently, this short film achieved recognition, winning the Outstanding Writer Award at the prestigious NBCUniversal Short Film Festival in Los Angeles. Additionally, Rani received the Fox Inclusion Short Award at the Outfest Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this year.

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3. Deception 

This short film, filmed at Empress Market in Karachi, focuses on a street vendor selling vegetables. He resorts to deceptive tactics to make a living. However, a serendipitous encounter brings him into a confrontational situation with one of his deceived customers, leading to a significant turning point in the story.

The film has been showcased at multiple international film festivals and has earned recognition with two international accolades. It was named the Best Nano Film of the Month at the AAB International Film Festival in India and received the award for Best Two Minutes Short at Bengal’s International Short Film Festival, also in India.

4. Apartment 51

Written and directed by Ahmed Kasmani the thriller is about three people in a building. As the story unfolds, the boundaries between trust and betrayal blur, and the characters are pushed to their limits. The apartment, often seen as a place of safety and refuge, transforms into a cauldron of suspicion and unease, serving as a powerful backdrop to the escalating tension.

5. Naqaab

This murder mystery is drawn in a perplexing scenario where a lifeless body is discovered within the confines of a sealed room. Setting the stage for a myriad of enigmatic questions and mysteries that shroud the entire investigation. The room becomes a crucible of uncertainty, where the atmosphere is thick with intrigue and unresolved conundrums.

6. Saving Face

Saving Face is a compelling 2012 documentary, co-directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge, that sheds light on the horrific issue of acid attacks targeting women in Pakistan. This powerful film not only garnered critical acclaim but also achieved significant recognition. Including an Emmy Award and the prestigious 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. It marked a momentous achievement for its director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who became Pakistan’s first Oscar winner.

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