No Pakistani flicks this Eid
By Ali Usman
LAHORE: Indian movies are back in business and are set to take the lead in all cinemas of the city, with no Pakistani movie being screened on Eid, sources told Daily Times.
Although four Pakistani movies — Husan Parast, Madam X, Gujjar Badshah (Punjabi), Wehshi Badmash (Punjabi) — will be released on Eid, yet no cinema across the city is screening these movies.
Cinemas, including DHA Cinema, Sozo World, Cine Star and Metropole, will only screen Indian and English movies on Eid. Currently, three new Indian movies ‘Jail’, ‘Tum Mile’ and ‘De Dana Dun’ are running. Two more Indian movies were scheduled to be released on Eid, however, the Ministry of Culture did not issue a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for them, sources told Daily Times. Cinema owners and film distributors told Daily Times that cinemas would remain closed on Eid if no Indian movies were screened. DHA Cinema, Cine Star and Sozo World will screen ‘De Dana Dun’ and ‘2012Â’ on Eid.
No Pakistani movie: Film Exhibitors Association of Pakistan Chairman Zoraiz Lashari told Daily Times that the need to promote the local film industry was great, adding that the industry was currently at a low-point. Lashari said that cinema owners had no choice but to screen Indian movies, as there were no Pakistani movies in the market. Â“For the first time in the history of the country, no major Pakistani film is being released on Eid this year. The government should look into the situation and prevent the industry from facing a absolute debacle. When there are no Pakistani movies available in the market, the government should devise a clear policy on Indian movies so that people could have some sort of entertainment,” he said.
“An Indian movie is purchased for around $50,000 to be screened in Pakistan. If the movie does well, it can earn that much money in the first two weeks,” Lashari said. With the current law and order situation, the government should support people who invest in the entertainment business, instead of imposing restrictions on them, he added.
Low-quality print: Film exhibitor Jehanzeb Beg said that cinemas need about 40 to 50 movies every year, but Lollywood produces only 6 to 8 movies a year. “Cinemas need to screen movies to run their business and Indian movies fill this gap. The urban population comes to cinemas because of Indian movies,Â” he said.
The issue of piracy needs to be dealt with to save the Pakistani film industry and serious efforts were needed to improve the infrastructure. Forming committees was not sufficient to solve the problem, Beg said. Chairman Cinema Management Association Qaiser Sanaullah told Daily Times that no major cinema in the country was willing to screen Pakistani movies as their prints were not good enough for the modern equipment installed at cinemas like DHA Cinema and Cine Star. People coming to these cinemas want to see good quality movies and owners cannot take the risk, he said.
Film director Sangeeta said that cable television and DVDs drew Pakistanis away from cinemas but it was poverty that sped up the industry’s demise. “No one wants to invest in this industry anymore”, she said.
Source: Daily Times