Reviving film industry: concerted efforts needed
By: Dr S. IFTIKHAR AMHED
OUR film industry has also been facing difficulties and retrogression. This situation has resulted in the shutdown of a number of cinema-houses and forced several large screen actors to work as TV artistes or leave Pakistan in search of new prospects.
It is worthwhile to mention that some Pakistani artistes who went to India and worked with the renowned Bollywood film industry earned worldwide fame.
It is unfortunate that the most-needed encouragement and financial support of the government towards the revival of the Pakistan film industry is still awaited. It is also strange that the public showed no more enthusiasm for Pakistani films as it did in the past. The apparent reasons include:
(a) availability of Indian films and TV programmes,
(b) establishment of a large number of new private channels in Pakistan, and
(c) the high cost of cinema tickets, transport problems and security issues discouraged cinemagoers in Pakistan.
However, the closure of Pakistan’s cinema industry seems totally unjustified. Some of the reasons in support of the modern film industry in Pakistan include:
i) provision of suitable jobs for Pakistani artistes,
ii) saving foreign exchange spent on the import of foreign films and establishing such a film industry as should be able to earn considerable foreign exchange in the long run,
iii) looking at our manpower needs for a competent film industry as Pakistan has sufficient talent.
The same has been proved by our artistes like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, Adnan Sami, Ali Zafar and Ghulam Ali, working with the well-known Bollywood film industry.
The Pakistan film industry would provide a powerful source for recognition and fame, and will help to liberalise the thinking of the common man, especially clerics. It will also help to control unabated trends of religious orthodoxy, terrorism and loss of human lives.
Instead of wars, it would be possible if Indians and Pakistanis cooperate and work on projects for the mutual benefit and progress of their respective film industries.
On the basis of the above arguments, the survival and progress of the Pakistani film industry can be made a reality. To fulfil the task of successfully reviving the film industry, it is extremely important that concerted efforts of the government, the film industry and the people as a whole are made towards this end.