This TED Fellow is Making an Animated Movie Unlike Anything You Know


Very few people have risen to the status Usman Riaz has achieved in such a short span of time, and it seems like the guy is on a non-stop train to success! He is the founder Mano Animation Studios, and is a trailblazer as he paves the way for other animation studios in Pakistan with his new and upcoming feature film ‘The Glassworker’.

Wait, who really is Usman Riaz?


Usman Riaz TED Senior Fellow, is an amazing artist, a trailblazing animator and does a mean job composing as well! He created Mano Animation Studios, the first hand-drawn animation studio in Pakistan.

But how did he get here?

Well, things are hard when you are trying to be the first of anything Pakistan. Working on animation and creating them was no easy task and Usman took on the world and never gave up.

What inspired him to make Mano Animation Studio?

Usman has always been a fan of Japanese animation. Most of his work comes from his love of the artistry of Japanese Manga writers and artists.  Making the storyboards himself, he has succeeded in making ‘The Glassworker’!

Who helped give Mano Studios life?

Mano was founded in 2015 with Usman’s wife Mariam Riaz Paracha who is the Assistant Director and their key members, Khizer Riaz (Producer) Aamir Riffat (Animation Director), Sofia Abdullah (Character Designer) and Rachel Wan (Environmental Designer).


So, what’s his road to fame story?

The simple thing is if you love what you do, you are bound to be good at it and that’s exactly what happened with Usman and Mano! They have debuted their very first short film on Kickstarter and made an astounding $116,000 and are now set up nicely in their amazing Karachi office with 25 members and team working in Malaysia.

What makes Mano so unique?

Apart from their enthusiasm and passion, the Mano team is choosing to pursue traditional animation in our modernizing age and society and are making everything with hand! Making their film filled with all the more compassion and grace.

They are also the only ones working with this art form in Pakistan, making them truly one of a kind!

Who does Mano think contributed to their success?

Usman is very grateful to have visited some of the most prestigious studios in Japan and LA and has been given advice on how to move forward with their own animation. He is supremely grateful to be where they are today.

What hardships has Usman faced?

Despite coming from a happy family, growing up in Pakistan and seeing life from the angle only a Pakistani can, has taken a toll on Usman, but he is incorporating all these emotions into his work to make it all the more meaningful.

How does Usman see Pakistan?

Usman and the Mano team are true patriots and they believe with true conviction that Pakistan is their home and their primary goal is to make it a happier and better place, even if they are doing it with one hand-drawn animation at a time! Usman believes in working with what you have and hopes to stay and better Pakistan in any way he can.

What are Mano’s and Usman’s hopes and aspirations for the future?

Usman wants simply to make great animation and to work hard on something he believes in with people who are just as passionate about the art form they are working on as he is. He wants to complete ‘The Glassworker’ in a few years but will be taking on commercial projects along the way, as the company and he himself shows the world that Pakistan can make animations just like any other country can.

He wants Mano to be the front-runner in hand-drawn animations and is passionately at work to make this dream a reality.

Does Usman have any words of wisdom?


Sure he does, Usman says that his favorite quote is, “You bloom where you are planted.

Where can I get more of Mano?

Try out these websites for more of Mano:

Where can I get a glimpse of “The glassworker -Prelude”?

Here are few minutes of Usman’s planned feature film!

Article by Born Realist