The Pakistan Film Producers Association chairman on Monday slammed the decision to lift the self-imposed ban on Indian movies, which was in place for around two months.
The film screened on Monday was “Freaky Ali”, a romantic comedy featuring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Arbaaz Khan and Amy Jackson.
In September, the Pakistani film industry banned screening of Indian movies in reaction to a ban on Pakistani artistes in India by the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association.
Pakistan Film Producers Association Chairman Syed Noor criticised the re-introduction of Indian movies in Pakistani theatres.
“It’s a commercial move devoid of any patriotism. When the government has officially banned the Indian content, why are the exhibitors not realising this fact'”
“There is no uniform policy. I want to know who put a ban on the screening of Indian movies and who lifted it,” Noor was quoted by Dawn as saying.
Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association Chairman Zoraiz Lashari confirmed that the Indian films would be screened from Monday.
“It’s a unanimous decision made with the consent of other exhibitors and film stakeholders.”
According to film circles, the cinema owners across Pakistan have suffered about Pakistani Rs 150 million loss and some 100 employees lost their jobs since the Indian movies were stopped being screened.
Film director Shehzad Rafique was of the opinion that Indian films should be exhibited.
He regretted that the recently released Pakistani movies, including his own “Salute”, did not elicit a good response from the public. “In my opinion, the box office should not close down.”
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.”
He said among the recently exhibited films, “Actor in Law” was given 16 shows in Karachi and “Janaan” got 12.
“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.