LAHORE: While the script of Pakistani films has always been at par, the actual execution of concepts and post-production is still a tad bit problematic, thanks to the lack of adequate resources in the country. Add to this a lack of assistance from the government and we have an industry that was seemingly, hanging by a thread.
As a spectator to it all stands Salma Agha, a Pakistan-born Bollywood veteran, still living in India, who has seen the ups and downs of Lollywood firsthand. Talking to The Express Tribune, the actor revealed that she holds Pakistani government responsible for all of the problems faced by the cinema industry today. “It isn’t just me who says that the government needs to provide more support to Lollywood. There are many other Pakistani artists, young and old, who have demanded it on different platforms,” said Agha. “All good things need a push and encouragement, but policy-makers in Pakistan have altogether failed to preserve art and culture. It should be their priority to promote culture internationally, especially through various mediums of entertainment.”
According to Agha, the world ought to take note from India with regards to self-marketing. “One must appreciate how the Indian government always focuses on art. Today, Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world and for good reason! Indian policy-makers invested in it and that’s how it should be!” The actor also shared that Indian officials make it a point to provide artists with opportunities to voice any concerns they might have and raise all kinds of issues.
Agha — who has starred in successful films like Nikaah, Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, Jungle Ki Beti and Aap Ke Saath — went on to give her two cents on the ongoing political rift between the two neighbouring countries and how it is affecting the entertainment industries on both sides of the border. “In India, talent and art are considered religion. Most artists consider it an honour to work here. They understand that it can give their careers a boost like no other industry and that’s why Pakistani artists wish to be part of it,” she explained.
“Having said that, local artists should understand and ask themselves if they should really continue working in India? If yes, then they might need to pay their dues for secure careers,” added Agha. “Luckily for me, I am the fourth generation living here but the rest of the community needs to settle the matter once and for all, and gauge whether working in India under the current circumstances will be a good idea or not.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2016.
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