Rangreza: This is my number one film as I’m emotionally connected to it. The title of the film, Rangreza, is that quality for God, somebody who paints the universe with colours. My character Waseem in the film is also very close to me. For the role, I gained weight, learned how to play dholak, grew a moustache and had my hair long. It also has a very good script and a great cast. For Bilal Ashraf and I, this is our third film together. The bond I share with Bilal along with the camaraderie and support system we have is absolutely mindblowing. It’s so rare and you don’t get that in other actors. The film also has amazing music. Rangreza taught me a lot and played an integral part in my life.
Sargam: It’s the film that introduced me to my first Pakistani musical. I went to see it some time in the 1990s when Pakistani cinema was booming. It starred Adnan Sami and Zeba Bakhtiar. The film’s songs were iconic and are still classics. I remember enjoying the movie back then and I still watch it today.
Maula Jatt: Even until today, I know of people who remember its dialogues and characters. Whether you have seen the film or not, every Pakistani will know a dialogue from it. The film had iconic characters and memorable dialogues. I’m a complete movie buff and love Pakistani cinema. This film showed me the importance of how well-delivered and well-written lines can actually change the fate of a film.
Main Hoon Shahid Afridi: This film released when a new wave of Pakistani cinema was rising. This is also the first Pakistani sports-based film. This also has its own significance, considering at the time it was made the infrastructure within Pakistani cinema was not great to make a film. Also cinema screens weren’t there in large numbers in Pakistan. Despite these challenges, the film managed to do well at the box office, which is an achievement in itself. I also starred in the film, sharing screen space with Humayun Saeed, who I look up to.
Janaan: I instantly loved the film when I watched it. But it’s also one of my top 10 films as two of my dear friends starred in the film, Bilal Ashraf and Ali Rehman Khan. Seeing them both on the big screen and the way they played their characters was brilliant. Also, the representation of our culture was amazing. The cherry on the top being that Mr Munir Hussain, the executive producer of Janaan, took this film international. He opened the film to a new market, giving further rise for Pakistani cinema. It was the first Pakistani film to enter the UK box office top 10.
Seedlings (aka Lamha): Just like the way you can’t forget your first love, you can’t forget your first film. Lamha was my debut movie; I even got nominated at the New York City International Film Festival for Best Supporting Actor. I also got to work with Amina Shaikh, Mohid Mirza and producer Meher Jaffri.
Main Punjab Nahi Jaungi: This is one of the finest Pakistani films of recent times. The story, direction and cast were brilliant. Everybody in the film, including Humayun Saeed’s character, were pitch perfect. The story and dialogues were very well executed.
Khuda Ke Liye: This now very significant film will always remain important because it started the revival of Pakistani cinema. It also motivated many to want to be a part of that revival. The milestone movie was a major first step, and today we’re at a very good stage.
Jeeva: This is a favourite film because of Mr Nadeem Baig’s performance in it. It was mind-blowing and I have learned a lot from him. He’s a legend of our cinema and industry, having watched him as I was growing up.
Jawani Phir Nahi Aani: This film broke all the records in Pakistan. It was very well written, wellexecuted and well-performed. This film gave a lot of hope and motivation to all Pakistani filmmakers to make more movies. It revolutionised the industry and helped it evolve.