Haya Waseem is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, directing commercial and narrative works.

Below are Haya’s selects and what she had to say:

Essential: Films

The Master (2012)

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

To me, this film is perfect. I enjoy every frame, every time. The performances, the structure defying narrative, the music, cinematography, set design… everything. As sharp and as beautiful as a film can be.

Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey (2016)

Directed by Terrence Malick

This movie came out with two versions. A longer cut with Cate Blanchett as the narrator and a shorter IMAX cut narrated by Brad Pitt. I was stunned after watching the IMAX film. It’s a direct letter, marvelling at the universe. I don’t think they ever got released, which is a mystery and a shame.

Mommy (2014)

Directed by Xavier Dolan

As a Canadian, there is sometimes a sense of ‘politeness’ that permeates the industry but Dolan burst onto the scene, with one expressive film after another. Mommy is Dolan at his peak.

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Directed by Ron Howard

If I could add an honorable mention: I don’t know what it is about this film… maybe it’s just the story. The mix of the psychological, the emotional, and the extraordinary. It took me into another world.

Essential: Music Videos

‘Thare Rahiyo’ from Pakeezah (1972)

Directed by Kamal Amrohi

This is one of my earliest childhood memories, watching with my grandmother. I am blown away by the elaborate sets and costumes; the grace and precision with which the lead actress, Meena Kumari, performs. It is timeless.

‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ from Dil Se (1998)

Directed by Mani Ratnam

Music by the iconic A.R Rahman, starring the King of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan. This video is a classic. They shot the whole sequence practically, without any special effects, on an actual train over the course of four days.

‘Khamaj’ Fuzon (2002)

Directed by Saqib Malik

This is a Pakistani music video for a band that has since separated called Fuzon. The song is beautiful; about the seasons passing and an upset lover not returning. I always become engrossed in the silent film that unfolds alongside the performance. Shaan, the actor in the film, is a celebrated Pakistani movie star. I love it.

Essential: Campaigns

‘The Best Look’ Nordstrom (2019)

Directed by Martin De Thurah

I don’t know what to say about this commercial, it’s so effortless and delicate. I love every part of it. It continues to unfold every time I watch.

‘Bliss’ Bose (2017)

Directed by Miles Jay

I loved every spot in this campaign, but especially Bliss. I got a pair after this.

‘You Love Me’ Beats (2020)

Directed by Melina Matsoukas

A recent discovery. The tone and execution is so good. It’s nice to see something of this pace resonate.