5 Women Calling The Shots behind The Scenes In Pakistan’s Entertainment Industry – And We Think You Should Know About Them!
Pakistan’s entertainment industry is ‘happening’ today like no other. From Short films to Mini Series, TV dramas to Cinema, we seemed to have traversed a desert in the past decade.
The past ten years have been an exercise in building a foundation to gain worldwide recognition, respect and acclaim. There have been some misses but very many hits for sure. These accolades cannot be attributed to anyone person alone.
We recognize the work and talent of 5 Women who have laboured behind the scenes to contribute profound value to our entertainment industry. Profound, I say, because the content they have created doesn’t just skim the waters, it runs deeper and has had a ripple effect, paving the way for more writers, film producers and directors
Kiya aap jantay hain, aakhir who auratein hain kon? If not, we’re here to tell you who they are and what they’ve achieved!
1. Sultana Siddiqui
Sultana, popularly known as Sultana apa of HUM TV is one of the directors of Hum Network Ltd. She was the first woman in South Asia to launch a TV station, and under her management, Hum TV has won numerous awards like the Lux Style Awards. She directed the famous show Zindagi Gulzar Hai among others. She personally has won many awards as well, “Best Producer of a Drama Serial”, “Women of Vision Award” to name a few, and she was also highlighted in the best seller “100 Performing CEO’s and Leaders in Pakistan.”
Talking about her awards, she won the Gold Medal Award, Sindh Graduates Association Award, and the Pride of Performance Award from the Government of Pakistan. Her work is well known for its attention to social issues and its focus on female empowerment. She has represented Pakistan in numerous international workshops and seminars. She has also won the title of ‘Sitara-e-Imtiaz’. Need we say more?
2. Momina Duraid
Momina is the daughter-in-law of Sultana Siddiqui, and when you’re surrounded by the best, you tend to do the best. Momina is a senior producer at Hum Tv, she helped produce shows like Humsafar, Mann Mayal, Suno Chanda, Dastaan, Humsafar, and more recently, Udaari, Ranjha Ranjha Kardi & EhdeWafa. She was listed on Pond’s list of “The 100 most inspirational women.” She was also nominated 5 times at the 10th Lux Style awards. Momina also has her own production house “MD productions” and all we can say is, you go girl!
3. Mehreen Jabbar
Mehreen is an award winning director and producer. A shining example of her creative endeavours was the project “Ramchand Pakistani’ – any praise lauded to this film is not enough – it was par excellence and raised the bar for the Pakistani Film Industry!
Mehreen directed the famous film “Dobara Phir Se” among others and was a member of The National Board of Film Censors in Karachi. She is also giving back to the community by working as a Directing Mentor at the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda.
Mehreen’s recent project is the webseries called, ‘Ek Jhooti Love Story‘. It can be watched on Zee5. It has an interesting blend of characters, an awami feel to the near organic sets, and a star cast that will leave you spellbound and in love with Love Story in question. Mehreen has this to say about it:
“I think there should be such stories on TV that offer variety to viewers – whether it’s comedy, thriller, mystery or narratives around domestic issues.
4. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Sharmeen is an activist, filmmaker and journalist, whose work highlights the struggles women face. She was on the list of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and was the first non-American to win the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. She was behind the famous cartoon 3 Bahadur and is one of the few Pakistanis to have won 2 Academy and 2 Emmy Awards.
Her Short documentary known as HOME1947 has won the Best Film (Short Documentary) Award at the South Asian Film Festival of Montréal 2020.
Her latest projects are on the way and super exciting as always. She’s been signed with Disney+ to co-direct Ms Marvel. The Superhero character will be played by a Pakistani-American young girl. She’s come a long way, and we’re here to see it!
5. Umera Ahmed
Umera is one of our most prolific writers. She writes novels and scripts as well. Many of her novels have been turned into dramas, like Baaghi, Alif, Meri Zaat Zara e Benishan to name a few. She won the Best Writer award at the Lux Style Awards, and has developed an online self- publishing platform for writers to handle their publications how they please.
Her latest project includes the web series “Ek Jhooti Love Story’ starring Bilal Abbas Khan and Madiha imam. It was released on 30th October, 2020 and was launched on ZEE5- A digital entertainment platform.
Umera Ahmed has supervised the scripts for many Pakistani dramas, which is probably why we have outdone ourselves in this department.
Drama Alif is particularly mention-worthy, and if you haven’t watched it yet, now is the time to not deprive yourself of the best in Pakistani Entertainment, go watch!
So there you have it. 5 women calling the shots in Pakistan’s entertainment industry. Their courage in writing their thoughts, their creative talent and ability to produce and deliver content that resonates with so many of us has truly endeared them to us – the viewers.
Women empowerment is not a phrase to be messed with. When it comes to these 5 women, apna loha manwana has been a piece of cake – or so it seems! Here’s to many more wonderful creations ahead – we can’t wait to see how they’ll surprise us in the coming years!
Mariyam employs writing as a tool to channel negative energy into positivity. “Little did I know I’d start loving it so much!” Says Mariyam. Food and Fitness are my favorite topics and my favorite pastimes too.
I’ve learnt to surround myself with positive energy, that’s the only way to succeed in life. It helped me become an entrepreneur – a life- long dream. And hopefully it will prove to be fruitful in the future too!