Pakistan looks to Bollywood to revive ailing film industry

Published: September 18, 2010

Pakistan looks to Bollywood to revive ailing film industry.

PANAJI: A special task force formed by Pakistan to revive its film industry will be visiting Mumbai to learn from Bollywood, a senior Pakistani senate committee chairman said here Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Nilofar Bakhtiar, chairman of a senate committee on culture and tourism, said she would be lining up meetings for the 16-member task force with top Bollywood personalities.

“We recently formed a task force to revive Pakistani cinema in which we have leading filmmakers as members. If they come to India, it would have good impact on our industry and future relations of both the countries,” said Bakhtiar, who is leading a delegation of Pakistani officials and filmmakers to the South Asian Film Festival (SAFF), which is underway in Goa.

“Indian cinema is extremely advanced and we want Indian filmmakers to work with us. We also want training opportunities for our actors and directors in India,” Bakhtiar said.

“It took us a long time and tremendous pressure to allow Indian cinema to be aired in Pakistan. We would like India to reciprocate,” she said, adding that Indian TV channels were open to the Pakistani public and were tremendously popular there.

In the recent past, musicians and actors from Pakistan have crossed over to India seeking opportunities. Recent examples are Ali Zafar’s Tere Bin (Laden) and Mona Liza’s Kajraare.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Anoop
    Sep 18, 2010 - 6:57PM

    I honestly dont think Pakistan can match the Cultural powerhouse that is India when it comes to the Film Industry. Recommend

  • Sengathir
    Sep 18, 2010 - 7:58PM

    Anoop, enough of chest beating.. Everybody knows that Bollywood and other south Indian cinema hopelessly copy Hollywood.

    I agree Pakistanis has to walk a long way to get proficient in technological parameters, but surely they will do.Recommend

  • skm
    Sep 18, 2010 - 8:23PM

    Sengathir, If ndian cinema hopelessly coping Hollywood, then Pakistanis should copy hollywood and not Bollywood.Recommend

  • Isfand
    Sep 18, 2010 - 9:42PM

    @skm i totally agree with you!!Recommend

  • nan
    Sep 18, 2010 - 11:17PM

    Anoop, its not about competing with Indian cinema. But making good Pakistani cinemas for their people to watch and revive their industry.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Sep 18, 2010 - 11:45PM

    @Sengathir,

    Some Indian movies are a remade to suit Indian audience, I agree. Sometimes they lift the entire plot! I agree. But, there are real gems which stand apart. With music being an integral part of Indian cinema the movie experience is doubled. For instance, how would a ‘Rand De Basanti’ or ‘Taare Zameen Par’ be made in Hollywood? It would be a good movie, no doubt but it would lose its musical appeal.

    Why do Pakistani citizens watch ‘We are Family’ when they can watch Stepmom? Because you might not like it, but your fellow citizens certainly love Indian movies.

    Its easier to brag and chest beat about your country when backed up by truth.

    Do not take it personally but since Urdu and Hindi are pretty much the same language, Pakistan will never have a dynamic Film Industry in Urdu. Its competing with a giant next door. The access to Indian movies is too easy and local ones s.u.c.k.

    Canada is a successful nation in its own right. But, it cannot produce a movie industry(English) which can compete with Hollywood. It supplies talent,money and audience to Hollywood but cannot even think of competing.

    Pakistan can send its talent, which are found in abundance, to the Indian Industry. Atif Aslam was in Bangalore recently. He has a big fan base here! Would love to see other Pakistani artists in India.Recommend

  • Deepak
    Sep 19, 2010 - 6:35AM

    I disagree with my fellow Indian Anoop on this. I think Pakistan has enough talent to boost thier film industry. I think if India can help technically it should be considered as good fortune for us as human beings to help not to do chest beating.
    Good luck Pakistan !
    @Anoop if chest beating is what we as Indians go out with to project our culture, it will be complete opposite to own ethos. Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Sep 19, 2010 - 8:22AM

    It is a welcome step. Pakistan can also provide its cultural heritage, untapped natural beauty of locations and richness of Sufism to Indian Cinema. The diversified culture of Pakistan can also provide tremendous opportunities to Indian Cinema. Recommend

  • Begum Nilofar Khan
    Sep 19, 2010 - 10:23AM

    Anoop, a rather ignorant statement if Bollywood was such a cultural powerhouse as you claim, with the hundreds of films that Bollywood trashes out each year; why is it only a few get artistic acclaim? Granted Bollywood has superior technology as far as film making goes but the majority of it is a direct copy of Hollywood. There are traces of every made Hollywood film in most of the films you guys create.
    Granted Lollywood by no means can match Bollywood, but the few independent films like Khuda Ke Liya and Ramchand Pakistani were produced with out the Bollywood masala and proved very propular in the artistic circles that matter. Also Pakistani muisc and recording artist are more creative and have produced great talent as Pakistani musicians are not tied to a film industry and so their creative talent can create great world music of a fusion of the rich heritage they have with the latest pop music.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Sep 19, 2010 - 6:33PM

    @Begum Nilofar Khan,

    How many Indian languages do you speak? There are 18 recognized languages in India and each language has a Film Industry of its own. For instance there are 4 Language Film Industries operating in South India alone and I daresay, they match the extravagance of “Bollywood”. I’ve seen plenty of good movies in 4 Indian languages. That is enough for me to say India is class apart when it comes to cultural vibrancy.

    Pakistanis know only a part of India and they tend to generalize.

    Have a look at the illustrious record of Indian cinema.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CinemaofIndia

    Just today we hear the news that Dhobi Ghat won accolades at Toronto Film Festival.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Dhobi-Ghat-at-Toronto-Film-fest/articleshow/6478870.cms

    All I am saying is Pakistani Film Industry will not succeed if its movies are in Urdu. Pakistan can occupy the place countries like Australia, Canada and Briton have taken with respect to Hollywood. It can supply talent and audience to Indian Cinema, which is not just “Bollywood”.

    Once in a while good movies will come out of Pakistan, which is a good sign but cannot match the size of even smaller South Indian Industries, forget Hindi Film Industry.

    Also, Hollywood also brings out tonnes of movies out every year and many of them do really bad. But, ones that succeed hog the limelight. Same with Hindi Film Industry.

    @Deepak,

    I am sorry. I am proud and I am loud. I call spade a spade. If Pakistan proves me wrong then I’ll change my opinion. Let Pakistan establish an industry that can match, say a Kannada or a Malyalam Film Industry which are small compared to HIndi Film Industry. Then, we can tell who Pakistan stands when it comes to pop movies.Recommend

  • Mahvesh
    Sep 19, 2010 - 11:51PM

    So first they ban Indian movies over Eid because Lollywood is threatened, but then they send delegations to India to improve their industry?

    Conflicted, much?Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Sep 20, 2010 - 11:26AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Our film industry is still declining and it knows every one just due to typical and stereo-typed stories,substandard film making trends and lack of talent in this field.Our film industry has only few heroes and heroins to play the main roles.And as far as seeing towards bollywood to revive Pakistan film industry this is not new for us,and this is the most ridiculous step shall be taken by our film industry because thus our films standard will be more and more declined and our film industry will be converted into desert and no one will come to see Pakistani films and the more important thing majority of the people see already Indian movies,because we are much the more impressed by Indian culture and traditions especially in our happy occasions and we surely think that sans Indian traditions and culture our happy occasions are useless and we show these culture and traditions as our Eastern culture and we follow it as a necessary part of our life to make the happy occasion more fruitful and more perfect instead of following and obeying the pure Islamic traditions and culture the most perfect way of success.And this is all happening just because we have lived with each other from 1857 to 1947 (90 years) and 90 years’ effects are the most difficult task for us to remove from our lives and it is said truly that “old habits go hard”.The only solution to revive film industry to make standardized and meaningful films with new talent and fresh and core stories sans much excessive thrilling and fighting scenes and to show our true and pure Eastern culture avoiding vulgarity.Recommend

  • saad
    Sep 20, 2010 - 1:55PM

    what did bakhtiar do for tourism that she has taken up the task or challenge to revive feature film production here (industry is a far away thought). lady, first see the over all situation. what is the guarantee that the screening of indian films will not be discontinued? and since their screening how many multiplexes have been built? are indian films shown in baluchistan and khyber? in a metropolis like karachi they are shown on one or two and a quarter screens!! to sell a product and ‘place’ it next to the competitor you need outlets. if there is still a dearth of theaters then how? on top of that the govt’s greed! to promote meaningful cinema khuda kay liay should have got tax exemption after a couple of weeks but didn’t! so don’t jump the gun of reaching out to bollywood! make a commitment of screening indian and other foreign films (like from iran) and some concessions to encourage the building of theaters. and do away with free (shopping) trips to india with the excuse of exploring training programs etc. with simply good intention and planning an original story with a good narrative along with other ingredients can easily be executed without any help and collaboration.check bakhtiar here:
    http://www.realbollywood.com/news/2010/09/pakistans-parachute-politician-main-draw-film-fest.html
    what will you expect after reading that? Recommend

  • Talha
    Sep 21, 2010 - 1:50AM

    Anoop, perhaps a lesson in history would have been wise before you made that over exaggerated and inane statement.

    You might want to look at the amount of films India has copied from Pakistan over the years. Our film industry was equally as good until Zia wrecked it with his laws.

    I present you one example where a classic Pakistani song is being plagiarized with its cinematography and the acting. The original song “Kabhi Mein Sochta’ from the film ‘Aina’ starring Nadeem is far superior to the copy starring Amitabh Bachan.

    Original with Nadeem:
    link text

    Copy with Bachan:
    link text

    This Pakistani film ‘Aina’ has been remade in India four times and amongst the remakes are the films Aaina, Raja Hindustani and Chalte Chalte.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Sep 21, 2010 - 2:51PM

    @Talha,

    Cultural exchanges happen all the time. It is welcome. Many singers and writers and musicians come to India to work in Hindi Film Industry. I’ve not seen the link but I believe you. Its sad that the original has not been given credit.

    But, my point stands. Pakistan can only play the role played by countries like Britain, Australia, Canada with respect to Hollywood. It cannot match Hindi Cinema but can live under its umbrella.

    I thoroughly encourage cultural exchanges of all kinds. It’ll be a one way street but for exceptions.Recommend

  • Rehan
    Nov 3, 2010 - 1:06AM

    i really hope lollywood does NOT copy bollywood! bollywood is trying to be so western its sad! leave hollywood to hollywood! pakistan should improve yes but not westernize and bollywood shodul go back to old bollywood, not this new garbageRecommend

  • Sidharth
    Nov 16, 2010 - 5:28PM

    Well, I for one truly agree with Anoop here. Like India, Pakistan has a great history of culture. Infact, some of the sufi numbers by the cross-over pakistani artists are quite a flame here but then, when it comes to Hindi Cinema, Pakistan’s film industry cannot be a match. Of course there can be and there should be a healthy exchange of talent accross the border but for it to stand and compete with regional cinema in India, let alone the Hindi film industry, is just NOT possible!Recommend

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