Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Shaping Success in Creative Arts and Media (Panel Discussion)

Creative arts and media are in for dynamism and disruption. Previously, these industries used to have editors and producers as gatekeepers who decided who would get a big audience. It was hard to break in, but massive audiences were guaranteed. These days those structures are being dismantled, leading to infinite possibilities. Paradoxically, with entry barriers lowered, it is becoming harder for the content creators, because they must curate their own audience.

Technology & Filmmaking: The film medium is dependent on camera and sound equipment. In 2010, the pieces of equipment were less accessible. With the advancement in technology, short films can now be made using smartphones instead of DSLRs. The number of Pakistani documentary films has increased massively over the last ten years. This provided multiple opportunities to excel for the filmmakers in developing narratives and layered storytelling. The viewership has also increased, which would have a positive impact on the quality of content.

Peculiarity in Arts: Strong adherence to one’s cultural and historical roots helps in the fields of visual merchandising, visual arts, and filmmaking. It is so because this adherence marks the artist’s peculiar style, which eventually gets acknowledged at the local, national, and international levels.

Mainstreaming Arts & Media: Technological advancement, intellectualisation of media, and social and moral acceptance of creative arts and entertainment have also resulted in normalising and hence de-stigmatising the entertainment business within which creative arts and media proliferates.

Opportunities due to stardom: The idea of artistic creativity is also intertwined with stardom. If an artist becomes a star, he/she gets endorsements for international products and brands. Henceforth, maintaining the fine line between creative arts and the commercialisation of arts is critical.

Are opportunities class-driven?: Opportunities are often for those who enjoy the privilege of one or the other kind. Access to foreign education and social capital built with the international creative artists and media persons are a few instances of these privileges. The privileges defined along the axis of economic prowess, majoritarian identity, gender, and linguistics play out in accessing opportunities in creative arts and media.

Academia & Arts: Opportunities in both academia and professions of creative arts and media are widespread. The channels, such as broadcasters and executors, via which content could be displayed have vanished, and the content creator can display his/her content on a YouTube channel, for instance. To a larger extent, excessive regulation of content and red tapes are no more hindrances. Hence, creative arts, especially filmmaking, has become more of a democratic, approachable, and affordable space.

The question of structure & design: The industry of creative arts needs structure, integrity, and design. The lack of support from the government for this industry in Pakistan has been the biggest challenge even during the golden era of Urdu film production in Pakistan. Hence, media content primarily with respect to filmmaking requires fresh narrative styles, aesthetics, screenplays, tonality, characterisations, and musicality.

Hijab Fatimah
Designer, Artist & Director, Gachrung

Haya Fatima

Sarmad Khoosat
Actor & Director

Wajahat Malik
Documentary Filmmaker

Naseem Zehra
National Security Specialist/Journalist

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