Cinemas observe 2nd strike
KARACHI: Film exhibitors closed their business on the second consecutive Thursday to protest against the government’s failure to curb film piracy, a Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association (South Zone) official said.
“All 54 cinemas in the southern circuit of the Pakistani film industry comprising Sindh and Balochistan remained closed, said Chairman PFEA (South Zone) Nadeem Mandviwala. He said 38 cinema houses in Karachi, eleven in the rest of Sindh and five in Quetta joined in the strike.
He said reports from Punjab and the NWFP circuit showed there was a complete strike as some 300 cinemas across the country opted not to open for the three daily regular shows.
Mr Mandviwala lamented that despite two consecutive strikes since March 15, no government official had contacted him or any other member of the exhibitors’ or the industry. “This clearly shows the authorities are indifferent towards the industry, which is on the verge of total collapse,” he said.
He said despite the government’s apathy towards the exhibitors’ problems, the cinema owners would continue their protest. “We are making all out efforts to save the business and if we do not succeed the records will be there for the next generations, which would show that at least we did what we could to save Pakistani cinema,” said Mr Mandviwala.
He asked the government to devise regulations and permit the exhibitors to show Indian movies, “which is the only option left to save this business.” He also demanded strict regulations be devised for the cable operators who operate their own illegal DVD channels. “We want a protective environment to run our businesses,” he added.