The year 2022 was a historic year for Pakistani art and music. From the Pakistani representation in Ms. Marvel to Pasoori becoming a global anthem, it was quite a year for Pakistani artists. Some of the year’s biggest moments for Pakistani artists included:
Coke Studio Pakistan’s Pasoori became a global hit in 2022, landing the crown of the song with the most global searches in 2022 as per Google Trends. It’s music video, with Ali Sethi and Shae Gill belting it out on a colorful set, received more than 480 million views on YouTube in just 10 months. The video received a record 6.6 million likes and 157,675 comments.
Pakistani representation in Ms. Marvel:
Ms. Marvel television miniseries featured the New Jersey-based Pakistani American teen Kamala Khan — the first Muslim superhero to headline her own comic — aired on Disney+ on June 9 and debuted in cinemas in Pakistan on June 16. Apart from it the show also introduced Pakistani superstars Mehwish Haytt and Fawad Khan to international audiences.
Many other Pakistani artists were also featured in the show. The series received a huge response from the American audience and brought Pakistani culture and South Asian history to the front of a global audience.
Arooj Aftab’s Grammy award:
The New York-based singer, composer and producer became the first female Pakistani artist to win a Grammy award for Best Global Music Performance, along with securing a Best New Artist nomination for her song “Mohabbat” at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in April 2022.
Aftab moved to the United States at the age of 19 in 2005 and earned a degree in music production and engineering at Boston‘s Berklee College of Music. She moved to New York in 2010 and began working as an editor and scoring films.
Humayun Saeed in The Crown
Pakistani actor Humayun Saeed played the coveted role of Dr. Hasnat Khan, Princess Diana’s lover, on the fifth season of Netflix juggernaut The Crown.
Before ascending the throne of Pakistani cinema—the 51-year-old actor has starred in three of the country’s top five grossing movies of all time—he was the general manager of a garment business in downtown Karachi. “I became an actor completely by accident,” he told Vanity Fair recently. “Allah has been kind to me—I don’t even know if there’s any talent because I still feel I’m learning.”
Joyland’s shortlisting for Oscars
Capping a fabulous year for the trailblazing Pakistani film Joyland, the Oscars shortlisted the movie in the category of Best International Feature Film. This is the first time a Pakistani film has made it to the coveted awards.
Joyland is a 2022 Urdu and Punjabi-language Pakistani drama film written and directed by Saim Sadiq in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Ali Junejo, Rasti Farooq, Alina Khan, Sarwat Gilani, and Salmaan Peerzada. It centers on the Rana family, whose patriarch yearns for the birth of another boy.
It had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2022 in Un Certain Regard, where it competed for the Caméra d’Or. It is the first Pakistani film to premiere at Cannes Film Festival and it received a standing ovation after its screening, and also won Jury Prize and Queer Palm prize for best LGBTQ, queer or feminist theme movie at the festival.
The film was released in Pakistan on 18 November 2022. It was selected as the Pakistani entry for Best International Feature Film at 95th Academy Awards. On 21 December 2022, it became the first Pakistani film to be shortlisted in the category.
The Legend of Maula Jutt Debutes in India
Last but not least, the release of the Pakistani blockbuster in Punjabi language The Legend of Maula Jatt created more headlines not just in Pakistan but across the world. It was about to be released in Indian cinemas in the last week of the year but was postponed, stalling the screening of the first Pakistan film in India in more than 10 years.
According to a report on Al Jazeera, the postponement comes as Hindu far-rights groups in India have threatened to oppose the release of the film that has so far grossed more than $10m at the box office, becoming the top-grossing Pakistan movie of all time.
The film, the adaptation of the 1979 cult classic Maula Jatt, stars Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan, both of whom have previously worked in Bollywood – the Hindi-language film industry in India.