Veteran actor backs screening of Indian movies
By Peerzada Salman
KARACH: Mustafa Qureshi has supported the screening of Indian movies in Pakistan, arguing that that was the small income the otherwise moribund cinema industry needed for its survival.
The veteran actor was speaking at a press conference held at the Karachi Press Club on Monday, where it was announced that the second Pakistan Media Awards would be held on April 22 in the metropolis.
Mustafa Qureshi, whose name with that of the assassinated actor Sultan Rahi guaranteed a film’s success, also narrated the reasons for the Pakistan film industry’s decline, saying that apart from other things “we’d made bad movies”.
Speaking about efforts being made for the revival of the industry, he told mediamen that film fraternity representatives had met President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Culture Minister Pir Aftab Shah to seek their support for the revival of the film industry. He, however, regretted that it’s not just the film industry but all other institutions were also faring bad in the country.
He said the volatile law and order situation in Karachi could be tackled by making good films, and there should be a parallel cinema in the country. He said though he was against Indian movies, it was the meagre business of cinema houses that made him realise that “the show must go on”.
Speaking on the occasion, director Syed Noor said if someone got up and helped the industry the chances of a good film being made were bright. He stated they’re trying to reestablish the film industry in Karachi and since our films had already hit rock bottom, they couldn’t do worse.
Responding to the question about the reasons for the film industry’s downfall, Syed Noor said there was a time when people lived in small houses and to entertain themselves visited big cinema halls because the cinema was something that could startle or surprise you. These days, people had big houses and enjoyed the facilities of multimedia etc which prevented them from going to the movies. He said another reason was that the condition of cinema houses in the country was poor.
Syed Noor appreciated the new cinemas that were coming up in Karachi and commented that new audiences must be created. “We’ve stopped surprising people” (Hum ne logon ko hairan kerna chhor dia hai). He said today you could also see the movies that were made in the rest of the world and notice the different techniques that they’re using. He lamented that Indian films were promoted in Karachi’s cinemas, whereas in the Punjab circuit his films had done good business.
He said the film industry in Karachi could compete with Bollywood.
Film director Sangeeta was asked about the government support to the film business to which she replied she was still moving about in Islamabad. She claimed the government had promised an amount of Rs3 million which would help the poor technicians of the film business.
Actor Tanveer Jamal said award shows themselves had become an industry in the world. Not only did they help and promote artistes but also created a healthy competition. He said all over the world governments helped their film industries and gave a couple of examples in that regard.