Instep highly recommends these recently-released short films for their content, execution, and emotion.
In recent times, Pakistani digital media platforms have gained popularity due to the kind of content they have been producing. In fact, there is plenty of fiction and non-fiction content, such as web series and short films, available for streaming on OTT platforms and especially on YouTube. And one thing we have learnt in the last year is, there is simply something magnetic about short films. What is unique about shorts is that they don’t always have a complicated plot, making it easier to get to the message being put across. With limited characters and innovative content, shorter time spans and a fraction of the budget, shorts allow anyone with passion and a creative vision to emerge as a storyteller and filmmaker.
Here are five short films that have managed to captivate the digital audience…
Helmed and penned by Shahrukh Naveed, the intriguing short film Half Cooked marks the debut of actors Mikaal Zulfiqaar and Humaima Malick as an on-screen pair; the duo has certainly done justice to their roles. The short is about a modern married couple, Ayat and Rehan, who are trying to make their boring daily routine a little exciting by playing a simple game. Ayat prepares a few questions that Rehan has to answer. The game allows them to make some realisations about their relationship and where they stand. Half Cooked beautifully shows what couples go through when that spark is gone and also how two people living under the same roof don’t notice what the other is enduring quietly.
Dafaa Hojao Tum
Faseeh Bari Khan’s directorial debut Dafaa Hojao Tum was released recently and features Resham and model turned actor Abdullah Ejaz Khan. The short is also written by Faseeh, who has Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewah and Ghissi Pitti Mohabbat to his credit. Earlier, the playwright shared on his social media handle that, “Dafaa Hojao Tum is not about the fairy tale romance of falling in love but the hard reality of falling out of love.”
Described as “a breakup story”, the short delivers the message beautifully. Resham has done a brilliant job as a woman who has been betrayed by the love of her life and how she handles the situation when her ex comes back seeking her forgiveness.
The 11-minute short film marks Sheheryar Munawar’s directorial debut and features Mahira Khan and Zahid Ahmed. Prince Charming tackles a very sensitive topic and gives a social message regarding the importance of mental health and post-marital depression. Mahira Khan plays the role of Sheherzad, who is a devoted wife to Akbar (Zahid Ahmed) and a loving mother to her daughter Wafa. The short revolves around a woman who was promised a ‘Prince Charming’, but doesn’t get the love she’s longing for. Though there are very few dialogues, Mahira Khan’s expressions say it all. Watch the short film and find out for yourselves.
This short film is an exploration of our country’s obsession with the English language. Titled Yorker, the short is a social comedy which has been directed by Ahsan Rahim and Syed Nini and stars Wahaj Ali in the lead role. Besides Wahaj, the cast includes Ehteshamuddin, Salman Saqib (Mani), Faizan Sheikh, Hammad Siddiq, George Fulton and others. The short is not only high on emotions but will also provide you comic relief. Yorker gives a strong message about the complexities of daily life that youngsters have to face in our society. The short is based on Ammar Saleem, a fast bowler who struggles with English. Ammar faints while giving an English interview and when he comes to his senses he sees the trolls criticizing his English accent. It is after the incident that he decides to take English language classes secretly. What happens next? You will have to watch to find out.
Based on one of the more controversial topics, the short, titled Client shows Azekah Daniel essaying the role of a prostitute who is getting ready for her next client. The short is helmed by Badar Mehmood, who has drama serials Cheekh, Balaa, Ishqiya and many others to his credit while it is written by Radeen Shah. The short starts off with a young boy ending up at a brothel where he is anxiously looking for someone. He somehow ends up in Farwa’s (Azekah) room and starts asking questions about the place and what exactly she does there. Farwa starts explaining to the curious young kid of what happens to women who end up here. You will have to watch it to see how the story unfolds.