2006: A Year in Videos

2006 was a showcase of videos that were inspired, innovative, edgy, surreal, and simply rocking! They say a lot about how far this medium of art has evolved in Pakistan. We take a look at ten best videos of the year:

"Beirut" - Strings (Director: Omair/Shehryar)

Subdued, subtle and straight from the heart, "Beirut" is a video that will always stand out because it is the one video that we all identify with. The prime focus remains on images from the very recent war in Lebanon and places like Iraq and Palestine, and taglines that tell one what the real cost of a war is. Even as you hum this beautiful melody, you also think and that makes this a video to remember.

"Teri Perchaian" - Ali Azmat (Director: Zeeshan Parwez)

"Teri Perchaian" was one of the most captivating videos to come out in recent times. A drowning city, a young boy riding dolphins, and flying on an eagle these were some of the symbols in the video. Shot in animation, it was a video that gave one hope. Intense, edgy and surreal, and thought-provoking, what more does one want from a video?

"Meray Log" - Noori (Director: Mandana Zaidi)

If you want to see the real Pakistan, hamaray log from all walks of life, just the way they really are, "Meray Log" is the video to watch. The faces are random, from school going kids to the average man on the street to families. It is just a very sensitive and natural video. What a winner it really is!

"Iss Baar Milo" - Hadiqa Kiani (Director: Jami)

"Iss Baar Milo" is a great example of how a dark concept can be weaved into a video and add power to a song. This video shows Hadiqa in an asylum, she hallucinates Humayun Saeed and ends being medicated for it, which is, not being able to see him or talk to him. No doubt the concept was dark but the attention given to detail was phenomenal. Zaki smoking a cigarette and playing guitars, the teal-gray colour effect and Hadiqa's acting it was all top notch.

"Husn-e-Haqiqi" - Arieb Azhar (Director: Zaman Hazir)

Simply shot and amplified by a kaleidoscope effect, "Husn-e-Haqiqi" was a moving video, literally. A reflection of faces in the streets of Lahore, images that merged and disseminated with the pace of this Sufi track, it was a fabulous video to see. A definite see for all.

"Masty" - Ali Zafar (Director: Shiraz Bhattacharya)

"Masty" is the epitome of what an Ali Zafar concert usually looks like. A performance-based video but just the way it has been shot and the energy that penetrates out of it makes it a cutting-edge video. The concept compliments the song and watching Ali Zafar fly over 200 hundred screaming girls is just a lot of fun to watch.

"Raag Neela" - Aaroh (Director: Jalal-Amir)

"Raag Neela" is a perfect example of a great performance-based video. Aaroh looked like a rock band for the first time in any video. The backdrop that changed from red to blue, the bar on top of which all of them performed, the attitude and style with which each member carried himself all these made "Raag Neela" the best Aaroh video to date.

"Sailing Fast" - Co-Ven (Director: Uns Mufti)

Shot in the happening streets of Tokyo and a Pakistani village, "Sailing Fast" was such a funky video to mark the debut of Co-Ven. One witnesses a complete role reversal in the concept; an English song (excellent by the way) being sung by dehatis (as shown in the video). The three Co-Ven men also work in fields to save up money to send to a chick in Tokyo. It remains inexplicable to date and that's why it is so interesting.

"Al-Vida" - Salman Ahmad (Director: Ruhi Hamid)

Based on a true story, "Al-Vida" remains a groundbreaking video, not just for Pakistan but also for all Muslim nations. The message it brought was that AIDS victims should not be discriminated against. Nadia Jamil played the protagonist who contracted AIDS from her husband and despite facing discrimination from society, she did what was needed, that is create awareness for others. Just for that feat alone, it deserves to be lauded.

"Ishq" - Manjeet Singh (Director: Sohail Javed)

"Ishq" is the kind of video that touches your heart. Romantically morbid, this video remains a cut above all other sappy love videos because of the treatment given to it. Burning cigarettes, thick smoke, spilling red wine, movement of the camera and emotions that remain visible throughout this was a great video to watch. Everything gelled the mood of the video with the heartbreaking song, the acting from Sanam Agha and Moammar Rana, the expressions they carried and the way it was shot. Fantastic!

Maheen Sabeeh
January, 2007
The News International, Pakistan