Mehreen Jabbar

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Mehreen Jabbar
Born (1971-12-29) 29 December 1971 (age 42)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Occupation Television producer, television director, film director
Years active 1994 – present
Religion Islam
Parents Javed Jabbar (father)
Official website

Mehreen Jabbar (Urdu: م‍ﮩ‍رين جبار ) (b. 29 December 1971,[1] Karachi), is a noted Pakistani film-maker and television director/producer. Mehreen is the daughter of well known media-person and businessman Javed Jabbar.


Mehreen grew up around Pakistan's show business. Her father, Javed Jabbar has been a filmmaker, and a very successful ad man apart from a senator and a cabinet minister.[2] After receiving a BA from St. Joseph's College in Karachi, Mehreen went to the US to study film and completed a two-year program at University of California Los Angeles in 1993, with a Film, Television and Video certificate. She returned to Pakistan, and directed and produced drama series/serials under the banner of TasVeer Productions, almost all of which were critically acclaimed by the Pakistani press.[3][4]

Jabbar directed her first play in 1994, called Nivala, which was an adaptation of Ismat Chughtai's short story. However, the play never made it to the television screens, having been refused by state-run television channel PTV on the grounds that it was an Indian writer's work.[5] It was a setback for Mehreen but she continued working for television and since then has made several award winning telefilms and TV series for several TV channels in Pakistan, in addition to a number of short films which have aired in festivals worldwide.

Ramchand Pakistani was Jabbar's first feature-length film,[6] which was released in Pakistan, India and the UK to wide critical and audience acclaim. The film premiered in the competition section of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2008. It won the FIPRESCI PRIZE from the International Federation of Film Critics and received Honourable Mention by the 13th Annual Satyajit Ray Awards at the London Film Festival, 2008 as well as the Audience award at the Fribourg International Film Festival.[7] The film recently had a week long screening at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York.

Mehreen has been a member of the Central Board of Film Censors in Karachi, a founding member of WAR (War Against Rape), the Kara Film Festival in Karachi, and has also served as a juror at the Leeds International Film Festival. Recently she was the Artistic Director and Directing Mentor at the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda, a non-profit film lab founded by director Mira Nair. Mehreen currently resides in New York City .

Success with Ramchand Pakistani[edit]

Mehreen Jabbar during the shooting of Ramchand Pakistani.

The Pakistani film Ramchand Pakistani directed by Mehreen Jabbar won the popular Public Award (the People's Choice Award), presented on 21 March, the final night of the prestigious Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland.[8]

Audience members viewed over 13 outstanding films from around the world, and Ramchand Pakistani secured the highest number of "First Preference" votes. Countries whose films were also featured in the main competition included India, Germany, China, France, Iran, Algeria, Brazil, Belgium, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and South Korea.

The Public Award at Fribourg includes a cash prize of 5,000 Swiss Francs for the Producer of the film. The award is sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SIDA).

Director Mehreen Jabbar attended the five-day festival as a guest. She answered questions and comments from jam-packed audiences which warmly applauded the film at the end of each of its three screenings.

This is the fourth major international award won by Ramchand Pakistani since its release at international Festivals in 2008. [9]


Noted television plays[edit]

  • Ab Tum Ja Saktey Ho (Now you can go)
  • Afsoon Khawab
  • Aur Zindagi Badalti Hai (And Life Changes)
  • Chalo Phir Se Muskurain (Lets Smile Again)
  • Beauty Parlor
  • Daughters of the Late Colonel
  • Deeda-e-Purkhoon (Bloody eyes)
  • Farar (Escape)
  • Harjai (Betrayal)
  • Lal Baig(Cockroach)
  • Abba Amma Aur Ali(Mom Dad & Ali)
  • Putli Ghar (Puppet House)
  • Sanam Gazida
  • Doraha (Crossroads)
  • Pehchaan (Identity)
  • New York Stories
  • Kahaniyaan (Stories)
  • MalaalHum TV
  • VaslHum TV
  • Daam (Price) – ARY
  • NeeyatARY[10]
  • Mata-e-Jaan Hai TuHum TV
  • Coke Kahani (Coke Story)
  • Rehaai (Freedom)
  • Jackson HeightsUrdu1

Other telefilms[edit]

  • Wapsi – Ary Digital (2010)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Ramchand Pakistani wins FIPRESCI Award from the International Federation of Film Critics and receives Honourable mention by the 13th Annual Satyajit Ray Awards at the London Film Festival (2008)
  • Won – Indus Drama Awards (2004) Best Director for Harjai
  • Won – IndusVision Young Achievers Award (2002)
  • Won – Lux Style Awards (2002) Aur Zindagi Badalti Hai nominated for Best TV Series
  • Won – Kara Film Festival (2001) Best Director & Best medium-length Film for Daughters of the Late Colonel
  • Won – 9th Lux Style Awards (2010) Best TV Director for Doraha
  • Nominated – 10th Lux Style Awards (2011) Best TV Director for Daam
  • Won – Pakistan Media Award (2010) Best Drama – Satellite Malal

Festival screenings[edit]

Beauty Parlor screened at:

  • Hong Kong International Film Festival
  • Pusan Film Festival, South Korea
  • San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, USA
  • Trikone Festival, USA
  • New Orleans Film Festival, USA
  • Toronto Inside Out Film Festival, Canada
  • Regent Park Film Festival, Canada
  • Leeds Film Festival,UK
  • Bite the Mango Festival,UK
  • Travelling Film Festival of the British Film Institute. UK
  • Screenings at Pioneer Theatre, and the Queens Museum of Art, New York .

Daughters of the Late Colonel screened at:

  • KaraFilm Festival, Pakistan

Ramchand Pakistani Official Selection at:

  • Tribeca Film Festival
  • Seattle International Film Festival
  • Osian Film Festival
  • Rhode Island International Film Festival
  • Pusan International Film Festival
  • London International Film Festival
  • South Asian International Film Festival
  • Third I Film Festival, San Francisco
  • Cairo International Film Festival
  • Dubai International Film Festival
  • Kerala Film Festival
  • Fribourg Film Festival


  1. ^ Mehreen Jabbar Unplugged 29 December 2005 Retrieved 25 August 2013
  2. ^ "Tete a tete with Javed Jabbar". Sehr Akbar. The insider brief. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Inevitably talented". Jang: YOU Magazine. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "PeaceNiche: An evening with MJ". T2F. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Raising the Bar in Pakistan's Showbiz". Laila Kazmi. Chowk. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Fabulous Picture Show". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Fipresci festival awards 2008". Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "The Fribourg International Film Festival". Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "New York Story, Karachi Style". Retrieved 12 March 2012. 

External links[edit]