over two months after film exhibitors and theatre owners suspended it amidst Indo-Pak tensions following the Uri terror attack and cross-border firing incidents.Indian movies in Pakistan today began screening
‘Freaky Ali’, a romantic comedy of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Arbaaz Khan and Amy Jackson, which was released in September, is the first film being screened in the Pakistani cinemas after the temporary ban due to tensions
The Pakistan Film Exhibitors and Distributors Association, which includes most owners of cineplexes, multiplexes and single screen cinemas in the country, said that there will be a temporarily ban of indian movies in pakistan.
The exhibitors and cinema owners had taken the decision voluntarily after the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) announced a ban on Pakistani artistes and technicians working in India.
Cinema owners across Pakistan have suffered about Rs 150 million loss and some 100 employees lost their jobs since the non-screening of Indian movies, he said.
Pakistani Film Producer Sohail Khan told PTI that allowing the Indian movies to be screened in Pakistani cinemas should not be seen in the context of patriotism.
“You know business is business and a cup of tea is a cup of tea. We cannot ignore the ground reality which is that our movies are not doing fine and cinemas are getting empty,” he said.
Khan said Indian movie ‘Freaky Ali’ was passed by the Censor Board in September but for screening of new movies the Pakistani exhibitors would be needing NoC and approval certificated from the Pakistani Censor Board.
Film director Shehzad Rafique regretted that the recently released Pakistani movies, including his own ‘Salute’, didn’t get good response from the public.
“In my opinion the box office should not close down. It seems the Pakistani film audience had decided that they will not watch local movies,” Rafique said.
Filmmaker, actor and director Javed Sheikh said: “It’s very simple. Whichever film would have potential either Indian or Pakistani, it would get shows at cinemas.”
“Karachi film industry is producing quality movies. I am working on my new film ‘Wajood’. I won’t mind if any big banner Indian film is screened against mine,” Sheikh said.
Pakistan is considered as the third largest market for Indian films. Indian movies returned to Pakistani cinema houses in 2008 after a 43-year-long hiatus imposed duricode1