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Fankaar is an intimate drama about three “fankaars” (trans: artistes) that explores complicated power and emotional dynamics among men. Taking place over one fateful evening, it features three individuals struggling to establish their place in society.

Darashiko, a filmmaker and musician, is about to embark on a creative and spiritual escape with his partner, Babar, in the mountains. Babar is the founder of the secluded artist's retreat where Dara plans to film a documentary.

On a whim, Dara reaches out to a former companion, Aurangzeb, and invites him to their home to offer him a central part in his documentary. This move shocks and offends Babar.

Once Aurangzeb arrives, it becomes evident to Dara and Babar that he is not who he has been advertised as. As the night progresses, Dara's desperate quest to draw a thread between his past and present, and impose his artistry on his two significant friends, results in explosive

Our Review:

Playing six roles and all crucial ones is a challenging task. Film making is a team work. Though the script is appreciated but the challenging part is to turn it into a film that brings all the characters and emotions alive. The film is crammed with too many ideas as it has muddled up the story line. It is essential to make sure every second of a short film count. But for these points, the film is a good attempt. It has the ability to convey meaning, provoke questions, and offer answers in a short amount of time.

Director Biography - Daniyal Yousaf

Daniyal Yousaf was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1992. He used to make student films when in high school, but then decided to pursue a more conventional academic path in a country without a functional film industry when it was time to go to university. Thus his filmmaking aspirations quietly withered away. But now with a masters in sociology from Columbia University (on a Fulbright Scholarship), and a few years behind him, he has gained the conviction to return to filmmaking slowly over the pandemic by accumulating equipment and finding the money to make deeply personal, self produced shorts and documentaries. His day job is as a lecturer at a local university.

Director Statement

"Fankaar" is a fully independent film made by non-professionals that was made possible because the four member team felt very passionately about the topic and had a burning desire to indulge in a creative process and produce highly personal art. This is a story that concerns the tribulations of male friendship, and it stars three of my closest friends, who also volunteered as crew in addition to me performing six different roles (director, writer, camera, lighting, editor, colorist). It has quite a few metafictional and semi-autobiographical elements, as each character and their pasts are borrowed heavily from events and circumstances that exist in real life. I have been fascinated by the blurred lines between reality and fiction as a formal story telling device, and I was captivated by the potential cinematic power of the last scene in this film, which is something I wrote before anything else and reverse engineered the story to get to that point. Muhammad Usman was a close collaborator as I consistently brainstormed the story beats with him before anyone else joined, and then later I edited with him as my "quality control". Meanwhile he also composed the soundtrack and wrote a song for the film, which is the emotional and narrative centerpiece. Usama and Salman, once on board the film, also brought their own interpretations of the characters they were playing and the overall process was very collaborative with the actors as I strived to create an intimate set with just the four of us so we could get the best performances in our limited time and budget without any external influence getting in the way. My background as an ethnographer was quite helpful in creating a comfortable and participatory space and the themes we dealt with were also quite sociological with respect to cultural capital. Questions of masculinity, authenticity, love, loss, jealousy, postcolonial condition, sexuality and the pressures to conform also underline the short.


  • Daniyal Yousaf Director

  • Daniyal Yousaf Writer

  • Muhammad Usman Writer

  • Usama Khawar Writer

  • Salman Ijaz Writer

  • Daniyal Yousaf Producer

  • Muhammad Usman Key Cast "Darashiko"

  • Usama Khawar Key Cast "Aurangzeb"

  • Salman Ijaz Key Cast "Babar"

  • Muhammad Usman Music

  • Daniyal Yousaf Editor

  • Daniyal Yousaf Cinematography

  • Muhammad Usman Audio Mixing


  • Project Type: Short

  • Runtime: 27 minutes 36 seconds

  • Completion Date: May 1, 2022

  • Production Budget: 1,000 USD

  • Country of Origin: Pakistan

  • Country of Filming: Pakistan

  • Language: English, Urdu

  • Shooting Format: Digital

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:1

  • Film Color: Color

  • First-time Filmmaker: Yes

  • Student Project: No

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