The Glassworker: Pakistan’s first hand drawn animated film

 WEB DESK: Usman Riaz, one of the Karachi’s guitarist, artist/composer managed to get full funding on Kickstarter for a passion project – Pakistan’s first hand-drawn animated film titled The Glassworker.


The artist himself took the liberty to speak to his fans and media about his new venture, Mano Animation Studios, his upcoming film.

On Sunday, at Arts Council, Riaz talked about his entire journey so far for his film. He began talking about his introduction to animated films by Disney and Studio Ghibli during his childhood.

The film revolves around the two characters as life grows to become more complicated and affects their relationship. The Glassworker is a coming-of-age story of two children from different walks of life, Vincent the glassworker and Alliz, a prodigious violinist who frequents his shop.

photo: Usman Riaz

photo: Usman Riaz

“Not only will The Glassworker be Pakistan’s first fully hand drawn animated film but it will also have a fully realized orchestral score that harkens back to the more romantic era of animation with sweeping orchestral scores and memorable themes,” Riaz shared.

“The film will be set within a landscape of political unrest, I will be drawing from my own experiences and other people’s experiences growing up in Pakistan,” Riaz revealed.

- file photo

– file photo

He went on to announce that The Glassworker, or rather Sheeshagar, will be entirely in Urdu with a Pakistani cast and will be released in Pakistan.  The film won’t actually be set in Pakistan but rather in a European setting that animation audiences are familiar with and those European landscapes will be injected with Pakistani values and themes.

“The west so often takes characters from the east and westernizes them, I just thought it would be cool to take western characters and make the landscape and living situation like Pakistan and make these characters speak in Urdu,” he added.

Usman Riaz showed his enthusiasm towards art. He wanted to be the motivation for those who are much into arts.

“I want to show that we are just as capable as any country in making beautiful hand-drawn animation. We want children in Pakistan to know that if they grow up to enjoy art and animation there is a place where they can come and work where they will be appreciated and encouraged,” Riaz shared.