Pakistani Director Uploads His Feature Film on YouTube in HD to Beat Piracy

What do you do when you’ve made a hit film on a shoestring budget and it becomes a hit with Pakistani viewers?

Well, you upload it in YouTube in all its Hi-Def (1080) glory!

Sounds like a crazy plan to you? That’s  exactly what Adnan Sarwar, the man behind Pakistan’s answer to the Rocky Balboa films did.

After running his movie ‘Shah’ on ARY recently, and seeing the phenomenal public response to it, Mr. Adnan knew what was next to ensure the film’s longevity and unique place in the eyes of entertainment-starved Pakistanis.

Combating Piracy in Pakistan

Mr. Adnan’s reasoning for uploading the movie online and available for free is simple enough. While speaking with Dawn’s Images, he said:

We knew so many people would be recording the film on [substandard] resolution. Our strategy was to counter the film’s piracy and release the film online on our own terms. .

The director of Shah felt that superior video and sound quality will help attract fans and viewers to the film’s YouTube version. Bootleg or pirated versions will therefore not be a threat to those who worked so hard to bring the real life story of legendary Pakistani boxer Syed Hussain Shah to cinemas.

How to Watch Adnan Sarwar’s Shah Online?

The movie is available online – with Urdu and English subtitles on YouTube.

You can watch it here.

Pakistan’s film industry may not be the biggest or the most commercially successful. But it is heartening to see the efforts of Adnan Sarwar by leveraging the benefits of social media and technology to ensure that Shah reaches everyone.

Via Dawn Images

Samir heads the sponsored content department at ProPakistani. He also looks after the LIfe section.


  • Yasir Mahmood

    Very Unique one of its kind

  • Umar Farooq

    Watching a Pakistani movie in 1080p for the first time! -_- Everyone should’ve done this!

  • Zeeshan Haider

    when ?

  • Abdul Wahab Butt

    That’s a nice step! I hope they monetized the movie via google ads.

    • ScarletCrimson

      YouTube monetization isn’t available in Pakistan. But if the video gets enough views, YT might make an exception. I hope they do, so more producers are encouraged to do this.

      • KMQ

        But still people gonna download it from YouTube and share it via torrents and other sites. Which would minimize the no. of clicks on youtube.

        • umair

          Its already on torrents.

        • AbdulB1

          But still you cannot download subtitles from YouTube.

          • Taha Najam

            Not from YouTube directly, but you can extract it using third party sites.

        • Ishtiaq

          KMQ, chal jani is Sunday ko program banatay hain yeh movie dekhne chaltay hain youtube pe. Kia khayal hai?

          • KMQ

            Surething sir, kitne baje jaoge YouTube par dekhne?

            • Ishtiaq

              Arey jani wohi 9 se 12 ;).

      • Abdul Wahab Butt

        Youtube Monetization does work in Pakistan. It depends on your luck, Four of my friends created their channel and three got approval for monetization and one failed.

        anyways! this movie is monetized with only one type of Ad. its appearing on the right side of the movie.

        • Umar Farooq

          It’s quite simple. YouTube monetization isn’t available in Pakistan, but it is in India, USA, UK etc… #IYKWIM! ;)

          • Taha Najam

            No, it’s available in Pakistan proper.

            • Khurram ShahzAd

              No, it is not man, my account clearly says that monetization or youtube partnership have not been enabled in Pakistan. However, if someone changes the country in settings, it is different matter, however, doing that have its own risks.

              • Abdul Wahab Butt

                I have my own channel. :-) and I did not do anything like that. Its upon adsense account you use. if that is approved then its OK. And my adsense account is almost 6 years old.

      • Taha Najam

        Not true. Both monetization on views as well as on ad clicks has been available for quite some time.

        Source: I manage official channels for many local and foreign companies.

  • Shark Lasers

    Can Pakistani producers upload movies to netflix?

    • M. Aamir. M

      Youtube Par Kar Di ISi Par Ada Shukr Kro :P

    • umair

      Yes they can but the process is a little tedious. Na Maloom Afraad is on netflix, only pakistani movie though.

  • I’ll definitely check it out.

    • Umar Farooq

      Downloaded in 1080p! :P (2GB) Gonna watch it tonight…

      • Taha Najam

        Reencode it using HVEC2 x265 10bit codec and it’ll shrink down to 500MB with zero loss in quality.

        • Umar Farooq

          And how one can do that? Any software you’d recommend?

          • Taha Najam

            Handbrake!

  • Umz

    Like like like

  • Khurram ShahzAd

    I just watched the full movie after reading this post. Great share and nice movie. Didn’t knew about the Syed Hussain Shah or his medal he brought for Pakistan before this.