Five Dramatic Works by Filmmaker Mehreen Jabbar

Here are five of Jabbar’s most notable works that have garnered critical acclaim and made a significant impact on the cinematic landscape for Muslim filmmakers everywhere.

Five Dramatic Works by Filmmaker Mehreen Jabbar
Mehreen Jabbar during the shooting of "Ramchand Pakistani." Photo source: Mshakeelbhatti

Mehreen Jabbar is a Pakistani American filmmaker known for her award-winning contributions to Pakistani cinema and television. Her debut feature, “Ramchand Pakistani” (2008), premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 and earned accolades such as the FIPRISCI Prize and the Satyajit Ray Award. Her second feature, “Dobara Phir Se” (2016), also garnered attention at international film festivals.

Jabbar is a founding member of the KaraFilm Festival and the NGO WAR (War Against Rape) and has been a directing mentor at the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda, a non-profit founded by director Mira Nair. Jabbar has received several awards for her work and served as a jury member in various local and international film festivals.

Here are five of Jabbar’s most notable works that have garnered critical acclaim and made a significant impact on the cinematic landscape for Muslim filmmakers everywhere.

  1. “Ramchand Pakistani” (2008)

This award-winning film is based on a true story and follows the journey of a young Pakistani boy who inadvertently crosses the border into India with his father and the consequences they face. It explores themes of borders, identity and human connections. The film follows Champa, a Hindu Dalit woman, in the Tharparkar district of Sindh, Pakistan. During a period of India-Pakistan tension in 2002, her son Ramchand accidentally crosses the border into India after a dispute. His father, Shankar, follows, and both are arrested and sent to an Indian prison. Despite a release order, they are mistakenly held longer. Champa leads a lonely life back in Pakistan. After five years, Ramchand is released, followed by Shankar. The film concludes with their reunion as a family.

  1. "Malal" (2009)

This film tells the story of a young woman, Zainab, who is forced to confront the complexities of love, duty and tradition. The story centers on Zinia and Danish, close friends secretly in love for 10 years. When Danish is forced into a marriage with Mahi due to his mother's insistence, complications arise. Mahi's Internet friend Saifi falls for her, causing tensions. Mahi becomes pregnant, and a visit from Saifi's sister Lily reveals his true identity. Saifi blackmails Mahi, leading to marital disputes. Meanwhile, Zinia befriends Jawad, Mahi's cousin, causing jealousy in Danish. Jawad proposes to Zinia, and Mahi's past is exposed by Saifi, leading to divorce. Jawad, determined to marry Zinia, faces resistance. Misunderstandings and lies unfold, leading to a resolution where Zinia accepts a condition to work in Pakistan, and she and Jawad end up together.

  1. "Daam" (2010)

This television drama series revolves around the lives of two friends, Zara and Maleeha, whose friendship is tested when they find themselves on opposite ends of a class divide. The show addresses social inequalities and the impact of societal pressures on relationships. Zara and Maleeha face a strain in their relationship when Maleeha's brother expresses interest in marrying Zara. Maleeha, influenced by her cousin Fiza, pressures Zara to break up with Junaid in exchange for financial help. Zara complies, and Maleeha ends up marrying Junaid, leading to a series of complications. Zara eventually moves to Glasgow for studies, repaying Maleeha upon her return. Seven years later, Zara, now successful, reconnects with Junaid, discovering Maleeha's deceit. Junaid divorces Fiza, and Maleeha regrets her actions. Zara forgives her but rejects Junaid, choosing to move on. A year later, Zara has a content life, symbolized by downplaying Maleeha's significance when her husband inquires.

  1. “Dobara Phir Se” (2016)

A romantic drama, the film revolves around a divorced Pakistani woman, Zainab, based in New York who visits an upscale Connecticut suburb to visit her estranged ex-mother-in-law. Once Zainab meets the ambitious Hammad, the film explores their relationship and eventual challenges as they begin to grow feelings for one another. The film delves into themes of love, second chances, and the complexities of relationships. It portrays the characters dealing with their pasts, making decisions about their futures and finding their own paths in life. The film is considered one of the notable Pakistani films for its well-crafted narrative and strong performances. It contributes to the growing trend of meaningful and thought-provoking cinema in the Pakistani film industry.

  1. “Dil Kya Karay” (2019)

This dramatic television series follows close friends Armaan and Saadi, whose bond is tested when they both fall for Armaan’s childhood friend Aiman. Saadi marries Aiman, leaving Armaan heartbroken. Saadi discovers Armaan's love for Aiman, leading to a strained friendship. Saadi's kidnapping by a politician ends tragically, with Aiman blaming Armaan. However, Armaan overcomes guilt to support Aiman and her child. Together, they seek justice for Saadi's death, proving the politician guilty. Aiman eventually realizes Armaan's deep love, and they marry, finding happiness amid family challenges and personal growth.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Fann.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.