Roundup 2016 – Film debuts

In the year 2016 many new or already famous faces made their big screen debuts. This article is a compilation of such names. Some names have earlier worked in a minor or supporting role in some film, but their name is added as their first film in a major role is released this year.

An interesting aspect of this compilation is that many names which we never thought of seeing in films made their film debuts this year.

Sheharyar Munawwar Siddiqi
Sheharyar Munawwar Siddiqi has earned much fame from his televsion dramas like Zindagi Gulzar Hai (2012), Kahi Unkahi (2013) and Aasmanon Pe Likha (2013). Shaharyar has not worked in any further drama after Aasmanon Pe Likha and signed the film Ho Mann Jahan. Ho Mann Jahan was released on 1st January 2016 and proved successful.

Out of the three main character of the film Shaharyar received the most praise due to his performance in the role of Arhaan.


Adeel Hussain
Adeel Hussain first film is Bin Roye in 2015 due to his cameo appearance in one song of this film. Adeel Hussain has already been a famous name who regularly works in dramas. The first major film of his career Ho Mann Jahan released this year and it marked the successful debut of Adeel Hussain.

Later in the year the second film of Adeel, Dobara Phir Se was released in November.


Jamal Shah
Jamal Shah is a seasoned artist who appeared in many dramas during his three decade long career. Jamal Shah also made his film debut from Ho Mann Jahan released in January 2016. He played the role of the father of Mahira Khan. After Ho Mann Jahan, Jamal Shah also appeared in films Hijrat and Revenge of the Worthless

Jamal Shah

Nimra Bucha
Nimra Bucha’s debut film Manto was released in 2015 where she played a supporting role. However Nimra’s first major film was Ho Mann Jahan in January 2016. In Ho Mann Jahan she appeared in the role of mother of Mahira Khan.


Sonia Jehan
Sonia Jehan has worked in few Bollywood films, and worked in first Urdu film this year from Ho Mann Jahan.


Sanam Saeed
Sanam Saeed is a famous name due to some succesful dramas to her credit like Zindagi Gulzar Hai (2012). Sanam also made her big screen debut from Bachaana released in January 2016. Bachaana proved succesful. After Bachaana Sanam further appeared in Mahe Meer released in May and Rahm and Dobara Phir Se both released in November.


Adeel Hashmi
Adeel Hashmi is known for his sitcoms and comedy characters. This year he finally made the big screen debut from Bachaana in February 2016. He appeared as the vilian in this film.

Mohib Mirza, Sanam Saeed, Adeel Hashmi

Aashir Azeem
Aashir Azeem earened fame from his debut drama Dhuwaan in 1994. Despite Dhuwaan’s success Aashir never pursued showbiz. After a gap of two decades he returned and made his first film Maalik which was also his debut film.

15578788 1249470348424316 6246388337959976839 n

Asad Zaman
Asad Zaman has started his career from modelling some five years ago and also did some dramas. His debut film Hijrat released in April 2016. Asad has the looks and aura of a filmi hero but in Hijrat his voice was dubbed by someone else which made his character less impactful.


Rabia Butt
Rabia Butt is a leading model who also made her film debut from Hijrat released in April 2016. She played the role of an Indian doctor in the film. Perhaps some of the important scenes of this film were chopped by the editor as her nationality and belief was never clearly mentioned in the film which created a lots of confusion about her relation with the hero Asad Zaman. How they first met and then separated was also never made clear in the film.

Like Asad Zaman her voice was also dubbed in the film. Though a doctor her overall getup and attire were more of a fashion model than a doctor in the film.

RAbia Butt

Rubab Ali
Rubab Ali is a model who made her film debut from Hijrat too. She played the role of the second heroine paired with Asad Zaman. Shown as a doctor in the film her character has minor presence in the film despite. Her voice also seemed to be dubbed in this film.

Rubab Ali

Durdana Butt
Durdana Butt is a veteran artist working in dramas form early 1980s. After so much time on television Duradana Butt also did her first film Hijrat released in April 2016. She played the role of grand mother of Rubab Ali in Hijrat and has very few scenes in the movie.

After Hijrat her second film Ishq Positive was released in July 2016. In Ishq Positive her role was much bigger as compared to Hijrat, where she impressed in the role of a hilarious landlord grand mother (daadi)

Zeb Rehman, Durdana Butt

Huma Nawab
Huma Nawab is an acclaimed artist having several memorable roles under her credit which she performed in the dramas mostly in 1990s. This year Huma also worked in her first film Mahe Meer. Her character was a guest appearance but it was well conceived and impactful. He short character in the film was an important part of the whole story without which it was not complete.


Daniyal Afzal Khan
Daniyal Afzal Khan is a reltatively new face been active in modelling and dramas from past one year. This year his first film Aksbandh was released in May 2016. Aksbandh was a found footage horror film a genre which is not much popular in Pakistan and thus his debut was not much noticed.

danial afzal

Ali Mohiuddin
Ali Mohiuddin is the son of veteran film artist Ghulam Mohiuddin. Ali appeared on the big screen for the very first time through Swaal 700 Crore Dollar Ka (SSCDA) released on Eidul Fitr in July 2016. The film was not much impressive and so does Ali’s performance in the film.


Quratulain is a new comer who made her big screen debut from the film Swaal 700 Crore Dollar Ka (SSCDA) released on Eidul Fitr in July 2016. The film failed to impress and Quratulain debut was not successful. She is also working in another film Tum Hi to Ho directed by Sangeeta.


Wali Hamid Ali Khan
Wali Hamid Ali Khan is the son of classical singer Ustad Hamid Ali Khan. Wali is also part of the music band Raga Boyz. Wali made his film debut from Ishq Positive released in July 2016.  His performance in the film left a lot to be desired. He also composed the music of the film as well as provided vocals. More than acting he was successful in the music department.

Faria Bukhari
Faria Bukhari is the younger sister of Noor Bukhari. Faria has started her career as a child star in the mid 1990s. As a child star her famous films are Phool, Jo Darr Gaya Wo Mar Gaya and Billi. This year she also appeared as the leading lady in a film from Ishq Positive released in July 2016.In this film she was second heroine paired with the hero Wali Hamid Ali Khan.

Faria Bukhari, Wali Hamid Ali Khan, Noor Bukhari

Nimra Khan
Nimra Khan has been working in television dramas from past few years. This year she made big screen debut through Blind Love in August. She was the main female lead in the film and appeared as a blind girl who lost her eye sight due to an accident.

Blind Love was out of the cinemas in a week time and thus Nimra Khan debut film was not much impactful.

nimran khan

Yasir Shah
Yasir Shah has been active on television from past few years. Apart from working in the Pakistani dramas he has also worked in Indian dramas. His first film Blind Love is released this year where he was the main hero.

yasir shah

Aamer Qureshi
Aamer Qureshi is the son of the most famous vilian of our film industry Mustafa Qureshi. Aamer has been active as a singer and actor from late 1990s. He also appeared in his first film Blind Love this year as a vilian. His performance was impressive in this film. Later in the year his second film Sayae Khudae Zuljalal is released in December 2016.

Aamir Qureshi
Imran Bukhari
Imran Bukhari has been working in dramas from past four years. He mostly works in the dramas produced in Lahore aired on APlus. His first film Blind Love is released in August 2016 which was not successful. Imran Bukhari is also working in another film Jung expected to release in 2017.

imran bukhari

Fawad Jalal
Fawad Jalal has been acting in dramas from past five years. His first film Blind Love also released this year in which he played the supporting role of an inspector.

Fawad Jalal

Alamdar Khan
Alamdar Khan is a singer who also acts. This year his first film Dance Kahani was released in August which was not a main stream film, Alamdar also contributed towards the music of Dance Kahani.

alamdar khan

Ushnah Shah
Ushnah Shah is a leading name of Urdu dramas in recent years. She also made big screen debut from the film Teri Meri Love Story (TMLS) released in September 2016. TMLS struggled at the box office and almost all of the artists worked in the film were wasted by the director Jawwad Bashir.


Omar Shahzad
Omar Shahzad started his career from modeling and then acting. He has worked in few dramas and made his big screen debut from Teri Meri Love Story. TMLS was a really poorly conceived film and Omar like other artists was wasted by the director Jawwad Bashir.

omar shah

Leyla Zuberi
The well known face of the television Leyla Zuberi also appeared in her first film which was Teri Meri Love Story. TMLS was a disappointment and Laila Zuberi as mother of Ushnah Shah and wife of Salman Shahid was also wasted in the film


Bilal Ashraf
Bilal Ashraf is perhaps the only name this year who made his debut in acting from films not television. His first film was O21 released in 2014 in which he played a minor role. His first major film Janaan was released this year which proved super hit worldwide. His performance as Asfandyar in the film received mixed response but overall he has the aura and charisma associated with a filmi hero. Bilal is already working in four films which might make him the next big name of our cinema.

Bilal Ashraf

Ali Rehman Khan
Ali Rehman Khan rose to fame from his television dramas Rishtey Kuch Adhooray Se in 2013. He has worked in few films like Slackistan in supporting role. His first major film was Janaan released in September. Ali Rehman Khan surely impressed in Janaan.

Ali Rahman Khan

Haania Aamir
Haania Aamir is another new face introduced through the film Janaan. She was impressive in her role and at some occasion her role outshined the role of the leading lady Armeena Rana Khan.

Haania Amir

Sajal Ali
The tragedy queen of dramas Sajal Ali also tried her luck in the films. Her first film Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai (ZKHH) was released in September. ZKHH performed average at the box office. Sajal was paired with Feroze Khan in this film.

Feroze Khan
Feroze Khan also made his film debut with Sajal Ali from the film ZKHH. Both Feroze and Sajal form a popular pair on television and they also impressed with their chemistry in ZKHH.


Imran Abbas
Imran Abbas is active in modeling in acting from early 2000. His first Urdu film was Safar in 2004, in which he had a brief role. Since 2004 he has mostly worked on television and after a long gap he appeared in the film Abdullah The Final Witness released in October which is also his first major Urdu film.

Imran Abbas and Sadia Khans upcoming Abdullah 5

Saadia Khan
Saadia Khan is active in modeling and television from past few years. Her first Urdu film Abdullah The Final Witness also released this year.

Imran Abbas and Sadia Khans upcoming Abdullah 2

Hina Dilpazir Khan
Known for her versatility. Hina Dilpazir also made her big screen debut from the film Jeewan Hathi released in November.


Saba Qamar
The first film of Saba Qamar is Manto in 2015 in which she played a supporting role. Her first major film Lahore Se Aagey released in November this year.

saba qamar

Rubina Ashraf
Rubina Ashraf is a famous name who acted in several television dramas since mid 1980s. Finally Rubina Ashraf also acted in her first film through Lahore Se Aagey released in November 2016.


Ali Kazmi
Ali Kazmi is the son of two giants of acting Sahira Kazmi and Rahat Kazmi. This year his first Urdu film Dobara Phir Se is released in November.

ali kazmi

Tooba Siddiqi
Tooba Siddiqi is a leading model our country who also acted in dramas. Tooba is in the showbiz for more than ten years. Her first film was Wrong Number in 2015 in which briefly appeared in a song with Danish Taimoor. Her first major film Dobara Phir Se released this year in November.

Rachel Gill
Rachel Gill is a leading name in the modelling from past few years. She also made big screen debut from the film Sayae Khudae Zuljalal (SKZ) in December. Paired with Moammer Rana as the leading lady of the film the name of her character was Razia Sultana a business tycoon and social figure.

Rachel Gill

Essa Chaudhary
Essa Chaudhary is relatively a new name who worked in very few dramas. Essa also made big screen debut from SKZ released in December. He played the role of Haider in the teenage, while as a grownup Moammar Rana played the role of Haider.

essa chaudhry

So this concludes the debuts in Urdu films in 2016. Some artists in this list are already famous but since back in 1990s the standard of Urdu film was reltively low so they stayed away from the films. Now in this next generation of Urdu cinema many such artists are accepting roles in the films.

To me the most prominent debuts of 2016 are Sheharyar Munawwar, Aamer Qureshi, Bilal Ashraf and Ali Rehman Khan. In the females Saba Qamar is the most prominent one along with Haania Aamir. Also Hijrat the first film of Asad Zaman and Rabia Butt was not successful but both of these also have a spark to be a film star.

Which is the most impressive debut of the year 2016 in films in your point of view?

Thanks for reading and do leave your feedback.

Rashid Nazir Ali

Rashid Nazir Ali