Some time ago I wrote a post on Burka Avenger, an animated children’s TV series about a Pakistani superhero (the first one ever). Reading about it at the time made me feel really excited and proud of the fact that such prime quality work is being produced in Pakistan.
Burka Avenger is the story of a school teacher who tries to fight the evils of our society through her alter ego, the Burka Avenger. The series is a Unicorn Black production, a multi-media production house that creates content to promote peace and educate the young. Very recently, the series won the prestigious Peabody Award “For its deft handling of a deadly serious theme – the empowerment of women – in a part of the world where it has particular and timely resonance..” (read more here). Burka Avenger is the first Pakistani program to have received this prestigious award. It emerged a winner from a total of 1000 contestants from all over the world, which is a colossal feat for us. (Did we hear anything on our TV channels about it though? Sigh!)
So anyway, coming back to the topic, a little while ago I came across news of another more ambitious project that’s been in the works for some time now: Pakistan’s first full-length Urdu animated HD feature film, 3 Bahadur. The film comes from Academy and Emmy award winner and our very own Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and is scheduled to be released mid-2015.
3 Bahadur’s story revolves around three kids and their battle against the evils of society. So basically we’re on the way to creating our own set of superheroes :). The idea is Sharmeen’s brainchild and is aimed at inspiring Pakistan’s youth. Click here to view the trailer; it’s awesome!
The film is a joint venture of ARY Films and SOC Films (Chinoy’s production company). The encouraging news here is that both production houses are working together to dish out more animated content.
Burka Avenger has already set a precedent for future animated productions to live up to. It has also proven to the world that Pakistan has no dearth of talent and skill when equipped with the correct infrastructure and technologies. The 3D animation industry is still pretty nascent here but provided with proper resources it has the potential to flourish and compete with any international 3D production house.
Let’s hope we see more Mukeem Khan’s * and Meer Zafar Ali’s ** in the future.
*Mukeem Khan was part of the Final Fantasy team.
** Meer Zafar Ali is a 3 time Academy award winner for his work in Life of Pi, Golden Compass and Frozen.