Curtain falls on Indian movies in Pakistani cinemas

Published: September 30, 2016
Indian producers ban Pakistani artists from working in Indian films. PHOTO SOURCE: FACEBOOK

Indian producers ban Pakistani artists from working in Indian films. PHOTO SOURCE: FACEBOOK

KARACHI: Cinema owners in Pakistan have decided not to screen any Indian movies until tensions between the two countries de-escalate. 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.

Super Cinemas General Manger 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.

Pakistani cinemas not to screen Indian films indefinitely

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.”

“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.”

Can Pakistani cinema survive without Bollywood?

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.

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.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Ali
    Sep 30, 2016 - 9:30AM

    I hope the government bans Indian movies for good. Recommend

  • tahir ahmed
    Sep 30, 2016 - 9:34AM

    Great move. Only yesterday a group of freinds we were sitting and decieded even if the government doesnt ban we on our own will bycott watching indian movies etc. They killing our soldiers and we watching their content. Same on usRecommend

  • Aneela
    Sep 30, 2016 - 10:12AM

    Good to knowRecommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Sep 30, 2016 - 11:12AM

    Banning anything will only increase the contraband market. Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Sep 30, 2016 - 11:13AM

    Curtains will fall on Pakistani cinemas as well, while the rest of the Pakistanis will continue to watch Indian movies on DVDsRecommend

  • Deepak Arora
    Sep 30, 2016 - 11:20AM

    Very sad to see the directions where things between India & Pakistan are heading. Can’t both parties set aside egos & solve issues in a dignified manner ? Recommend

  • Ajit
    Sep 30, 2016 - 11:40AM

    @Deepak Arora: Kudos for the comment :) Recommend

  • mani
    Sep 30, 2016 - 12:12PM

    It will be good news for local film idustry and ban Indian films & TV shows, adds on cable as well and DVDs. Those who R saying it will not hurt Bollywood; it will as Bollywood size and investment so big it need stable overseas market. Recommend

  • Naz
    Sep 30, 2016 - 12:30PM

    I’m so happy at least pakistanis wont be watching cheap foreign film rip-off. Pakistan was Bollywood’s third largest market. Even here in uk we all are boycotting indian films and channels, hit them where it hurts, been telling people here about how they kill innocent Kashmiris and rape women, soon no tourist too there. Im proud to stay we producig art which is more superior to what they make. HeheRecommend

  • ashar
    Sep 30, 2016 - 3:00PM

    Benefit of WarRecommend

  • Ramesh
    Sep 30, 2016 - 3:02PM

    Back to Maula Jatt Era then.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Sep 30, 2016 - 3:12PM

    I am not a great fan of cinema but banning anything will only increase the contraband market . This wlll add more nails to the coffin of our mutual peace and tranquility Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    Sep 30, 2016 - 4:16PM

    Pakistani movies are not allowed to be screened in india
    The only channel Zee Zindagi that showed Pakistani dramas

    immediately stopped showing them.
    While Pakistani channels continue showing indian dramas and movies

    same by the cable operators.

  • Beast
    Sep 30, 2016 - 8:51PM

    Indian movies should be banned permanently from each and every cinema in Pakistan.Recommend

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