Pakistani cinemas not to screen Indian films indefinitely

Published: September 30, 2016
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Exhibitors take decision in response to Indian producers’ move to ban Pakistanis from working in Indian films. PHOTO: AFP

Exhibitors take decision in response to Indian producers’ move to ban Pakistanis from working in Indian films. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Cinema owners in Pakistan have decided not to screen any Indian movies until tensions between two countries recede. They took the decision on Thursday after the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) banned all Pakistani artists from working in film projects in India.

“We will suspend the exhibition of Indian films till normalcy,” said Nadeem Mandviwalla, owner of Mandviwalla Entertainment which runs Atrium Cinemas in Karachi and Centaurus in Islamabad. “No Indian movies will play in my cinemas from Friday onwards for sure,” he told The Express Tribune.

Can Pakistani cinema survive without Bollywood?

Super Cinemas General Manager Khorem Gultasab echoed Mandviwalla’s sentiments, saying he has already stopped screening any Indian films at his facilities. “We didn’t wait for an official declaration by exhibitors. From Friday onwards, no Bollywood film will be screened at Super Cinemas for at least two weeks to show solidarity with our actors and our military,” he said.

Although Cinepax – Pakistan’s largest network of cinemas – had not yet banned any Indian movies, a senior official of cinema chain said it would follow suit if film exhibitors take a mutual decision in this regard. “I have not heard anything confirmed as yet, but if exhibitors do ban Indian films, then of course we will go ahead with it,” said Cinepax General Manager Marketing Mohsin Yaseen.

Regarding a mutual decision, Nadeem Mandviwalla said: “Since this ban is an initiative taken by cinema owners and not the government, it is taking us some time to bring everyone on the same page.”

Indian cinema’s changing infrastructure

“We were taking things lightly initially, since the so-called ban [on Pakistani artists in India] was just a few mischief-mongers hurling anti-Pakistan slogans,” he said. “But things have gotten serious after the official [IMPPA] declaration.”

Mandviwalla added that an official announcement of the ban on Indian films will be made soon.

Meanwhile, Gultasab said he is also urging other exhibitors to ban Indian films so that the industry stands united. “A ban won’t be effective if confined to just cinemas. Going to a cinema is a choice, but television channels air content from India all the time,” he said. “We must completely black out Indian content. Remove it from TV channels and from DVD shops. Otherwise, there’s no point.”

The cinema owner added that this ban should continue until the Indian government offers Pakistani films a level playing field and Pakistani artists complete protection.

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Renowned Pakistani filmmaker Jami agreed with Gultasab, saying: “There are Indian drama serials playing on TV all the time and you have DVD shops selling Indian films. Why just target cinema? If you want a ban, just ban all Indian content.”

Pakistanis banned from working in Indian films

Earlier on Thursday, Indian film producers passed a resolution banning anyone from Pakistan from working in films being made in India. The move was announced by IMPPA President T P Aggarwal.

“We’ve passed this resolution in the AGM today on the demand of all the producers. Henceforth, till the situation is ok between the Pakistani and Indian governments, we will not hire any Pakistani artist, technician or singer,” Aggarwal said.

“If there is any ongoing project from which they cannot be removed now, on which everything has been done, they can come for that. We will maintain this till the relations between Pakistan and India are ok,” he added.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Abid
    Sep 30, 2016 - 3:44AM

    Excellent work!!Recommend

  • JSM
    Sep 30, 2016 - 7:35AM

    Stop showing Indian movies for ever. These show a decadent culture.Recommend

  • Haider
    Sep 30, 2016 - 7:50AM

    As Muslims we should anyway show only Islamic content in our movies and TV. Ban all dancing and music and broadcast prayers and such things for good life of Muslims and UmmahRecommend

  • Tanya Khan
    Sep 30, 2016 - 8:03AM

    Please ban the torture that Indian dramas are…..utter utter nonsense stretched to a 1000 epi…. collective intelligence of subcontinent is really taken as very low…. Recommend

  • An Indian
    Sep 30, 2016 - 8:18AM

    As an Indian, I beg you to please ban Indian movies permanently. Traitors like SRK, Naseeruddin Shah, Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt etc. can also buzz off to Pakistan and start a new industry there. Thank you.Recommend

  • kartikey
    Sep 30, 2016 - 11:52AM

    I hope this will start from Indian side too and remained for everRecommend

  • Shaukat
    Sep 30, 2016 - 12:12PM

    Ban for 2 weeks only. It seems the greed for money has not gone totally.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Sep 30, 2016 - 12:17PM

    India never allowed Pakistani cinema or TV shows to be aired…….yet they were seen in India. Recommend

  • Ali
    Sep 30, 2016 - 12:29PM

    This is insanity, clearly started by India by banning our artists. We are always going to stay neighbours. No ones going anywhere. These cultural exchanges are the bridges that should remain in place, we might need to walk on them again. Lets not burn these bridges.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Sep 30, 2016 - 12:50PM

    Sad …. Art transcendents boundaries , curbing art is akin to killing . Recommend

  • Anon
    Sep 30, 2016 - 5:01PM

    If it happens, it’ll be big blow to local cinema owners in pak, as their 70% revenue generated from indian moviesRecommend

  • Jamal
    Oct 1, 2016 - 1:43PM

    There should be complete ban on Indian movies and dramas in Pakistan.Recommend

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