LAHORE : The Punjab Government has taken upon itself the much-neglected responsibility of promoting the viewership of local productions. Cinemas play a vital role in showcasing Pakistani culture and heritage – and keeping that notion in mind, the government plans to build new cinemas to promote the Pakistani film industry.
The government is now going to ensure that strict actions be taken against local cinema owners who exhibit movies without the consent of the film producers.
Pakistan Film Producer Association Chairman Syed Noor along with Pakistan Film Distributor association Chairman Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran and Secretary Jalalud Din were invited by the secretary Punjab Home Department, Major(r) Azam Suleman after they submitted an application complaining about illegal distribution and exhibition of Pakistani and Indian movies in cinemas all over Punjab.
The meeting served as a platform to discuss and try to extract solutions to the problems faced by the producers. The Home Department, promising to address the issues gave their word as to play their part in helping the Pakistani film and stage industry excel.
The producers shared their woes of not being given their fair share after putting in unimaginable amounts of money and commendable efforts into their projects.
Producers emphasised that illegal exhibitions not only are a huge blow to their finances but also deter the steady path needed for the Pakistani film industry to grow.
“It is disastrous that our local cinema immensely suffers because of the illegal actions of cinema owners who have played a pivotal role in the downfall of the film industry,” stated Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran to the The Express Tribune.
Several matters were discussed in the meeting. The matter of showcasing Indian films was also highlighted as everyone agreed that the cinemas need to lend more emphasis on Pakistani movies and help promote local talent.
“Another problem we face is exposure – as many of the cinemas showcase Indian content rather than local productions. The industry suffers due to the disinterest of the cinema owners as well as illegal exhibits of the movies,” said Kamran.
Commercial stage performances in Punjab were also accused of using songs from Pakistani and Indian movies alike without the consent or knowledge of the producers. Chaudhry Ejaz became the voice of the producers and distributors alike and complained about facing mammoth losses without any compensation or consequences to the entities affected as no one seems to be abiding to the laws in place.
“Stage productions also violate copyrights as they use content from movies without permission. It is unfair to the producers because they spend millions on their projects only to be left disappointed and empty handed by such organisations,” shared Kamran.
Major(r) Suleman listened to the concerns patiently and promised that the issues will finally be addressed. According to Home Department Punjab, strict legal actions will be taken against cinemas that illegally display movies – whether they’re Pakistani or Indian. Secretary Home Department assured that notifications will be sent to the DCOs of all 37 Punjab districts to immediately seal the cinemas showcasing movies without the right of exhibition.
According to sources, similar fate awaits the commercial stage producers over the illegal usage of movie songs in their shows.
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