LAHORE: Despite the Federal Minister of Culture Pir Aftab Jillani’s announcement that Indian films will not be shown in cinemas this Eid, the Ministry of Culture has not issued a notification in this regard.
The Express Tribune has learned that We Are Family, which stars Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal, has been issued a no objection certificate (NOC) by the ministry for its release and will be released this month.
Film exhibitors and cinema owners told The Express Tribune that there had not received any notifications about the screening of Indian films on Eid. “There are only verbal instructions that no Indian film can be released 15 days before the release of a Pakistani film,” a film exhibitor said. Exhibitors say that We Are Family will be released before Eid and will continue screening during the holiday, and the screening of Peepli Live will also continue. The fate of just one Indian film – the highly awaited Dabangg starring Salman Khan – still hangs in the balance as it hasn’t been given an NOC yet. However, exhibitors believe that Dabangg might be allowed screening in Sindh as all the four Pakistani films scheduled to release on Eid are in Punjabi and cinemas in Sindh do not usually screen Punjabi films
Multiplexes in Lahore, however, will not screen Pakistani films and will show Hollywood films and an Indian film. Pakistan Cinema Management Association Chairman Qaiser Sanaullah Khan said that a multiplex needs to run four shows a day. “Peepli Live is already being screened. We are Family has been given an NOC and two Hollywood films, Inception and The Expendables, will also be screened on Eid. So they wouldn’t have any problem,” he said.
Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association Chairman Zoraiz Lashari said that cinemas like the DHA Cinema in Lahore were planning not to screen Punjabi films as they do not have a market for them. “As far as the screening of Indian films is concerned, the minister of culture has given just verbal instructions and no notification has been issued so far,” he said.
Ministry of Culture officials confirmed that no notification has been issued banning the release of Indian films on Eid, but said that it might be issued soon.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2010.