Watch the winning films of the #CreativeDistancing video story contest

These videos show how Pakistanis are creatively turning these challenging times into those of opportunity and inspiration.
Published August 13, 2020

Top three winners

The first three films take home Rs250,000, Rs200,000, and Rs120,000 as prize money respectively.

First Prize — Unbound Breath

Becoming a doctor in Pakistan isn't easy, especially when you're a woman from a middle class background. Dr Amna Batool takes us through a day in the life of a doctor, as she and her coworkers fight on the frontlines against the coronavirus pandemic.

Directed and shot by Omer Nafees, this film was chosen as the winner out of 200+ video entries.

Second Prize — Nidar (Fearless)

Meet Ishaq Khan, one of the unsung heroes working in the background during these tough times of misery, hopelessness and pain.

In this film by Saad Bhatti and Adeel Qureshi, we hear the story of Ishaq and how he performs ghusl (funerary bath) of coronavirus victims before their final prayers and burial rites are performed, giving solace to the families of the deceased when they themselves can't come near the dead.

Third Prize — Staying Still

Waleed Akram, Ibrahim Hassan and Sheikh Mubashir take us to the Bhati gate in the walled city of Lahore, where a brother and sister duo have taken upon themselves to educate the public about the threats from the coronavirus, and are distributing masks and sanitisers despite all the hurdles in their way.

They believe that even with fewer resources at their disposal, they can make the lives of people a little better.

Special mentions

Taking into account the huge number of amazing entries, our judges decided to give out three additional 'Special Mention' prizes of Rs60,000 each.


Schools were closed, and businesses shuttered down following the nationwide lockdown in Pakistan as the number of coronavirus cases started rising in the country.

In this beautifully shot film by Halar Khoso, Uzair Shah, Mansoor Khoso, Saleem Jamali and Kabir Aftab, watch how Tamseela Mallah and Abdul Qadir find new meaning and new directions to their lives after things come to a halt, giving the message that no pandemic can ever lock the doors on life.

Pakistan Kay Hero

The Bismillah Tuck Shop in Islamabad may look small at first glance, but it supplies rations, groceries and food provisions to 145 families in the neighbourhood.

In this heartwarming film by Athar Abbas and Bilal Abbas, we hear how the owner of the tuck shop has been personally delivering rations and supplies to several families that have been affected and are homebound due to Covid-19. This man has been working as a frontline soldier in the fight against the impact of Covid-19, just like the country's many doctors, nurses, and security staff.

The Hero Within

Ausat Ali, Fesih Muhammad Waseem, and Shahum Malik share in this creatively put-together film how they rediscovered their passion and learned new skills when the world as they knew it changed around them.

It Happens Only In Pakistan is a nationwide video story contest organised by and Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's international broadcaster. Inspired by the stories of human generosity and perseverance that emerged during this pandemic, the special Lockdown Edition of the contest launched on the theme of #CreativeDistancing invited filmmakers to share positive stories of how they are creatively coping with the new reality while practicing physical distancing, or how those around them are turning these challenging times into those of opportunity and inspiration.

The contest accepted entries from June 22 and July 28, 2020.