Jawad Sharif: Filmmaking with social impact, taking untold stories worldwide

Jawad Sharif Films

Jawad Sharif Films has earned a name for itself as a film production company that values telling stories with social impact over anything else. Since 2014, its founder Jawad Sharif has been involved in projects that have taken unexplored subjects to cinema screens worldwide.

Running a film production company based in Islamabad, Jawad started as an independent filmmaker and attracted the attention of filmmaking enthusiasts worldwide with the release of K2 and the Invisible Footmen (2014). Collaborating with American filmmaker Iara Lee, Jawad Sharif worked as the editor and cinematographer. The film is noted for highlighting the lives of the porters facilitating mountaineers at the K2 basecamp, as well as Nepalese Sherpas at the Mount Everest basecamp in Nepal. The film had set Jawad’s signature cinema verité style screenplay. The film has been screened at hundreds of festivals around the world and has won Best Documentary Feature award at prestigious festivals such as Jaipur, Salento, and Rio Mountain Film Festival.

Jawad has also directed short film Beyond the Heights (2014), which features the first Pakistani woman mountaineer to have climbed Mount Everest. Earlier in his case, Jawad has also written and directed a short documentary featuring Nobel laureate and girl’s education activist Malala Yousafzai.

Indus Blues (2018), Jawad’s debut feature documentary film as a director has taken his work to another level. The film tells the story of the plight of the indigenous folk musicians and craftsmen in their own voices while reminding the world what it is about to lose as their ancient art form becomes endangered in an intolerant society. The stunning film was shot across Pakistan, from Gilgit-Baltistan in the Karakoram Mountains to the Makran Coast touching the Arabian Sea.

Apart from its important mission, the film was able to win acclaim both at home and abroad. Premiering at the prestigious CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Denmark, the film was screened where it was included in the international documentary competition. The film won Interculturality Award at the prestigious Cine Invisible Bilbao.The film also proved to be an anchor for promoting harmony among the people of the Indian subcontinent, screening at Film South Asia in Nepal and winning the Best Documentary Feature and Cinematography Awards at the Jaipur International Film Festival in Rajasthan, India. The film has also won the Gold Award at Spotlight Documentary Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize for the Crystal Award at Guam International Film Festival.

With his documentary production house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Jawad hopes to continue to highlight issues that are seldom touched. But most of all, he hopes to tell inspiring and moving human stories that have never been heard or seen before anywhere around the world.