LAHORE / KARACHI: Cinemas located in Lahore Cantonment have halted the screening of Indian films.
The decision seems to be a retaliatory step after a producer’s guild across the border demanded that the Indian films should stop screening in Pakistan. They also imposed a ban on Pakistani artists once again working in the industry.
Sources reveal that the step has been taken on the directives of Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association and the decision pertaining to other areas of the city and the country is yet to be made.
“We have closed evening bookings for Indian films and till further announcement only Pakistani and Hollywood films will be screened in cinemas,” Manager of a cinema located in Lahore Cantt told The Express Tribune, requesting anonymity.
“We are aware of the decision to stop screening Indian films in cantonment areas and that is why we have also stopped the purchasing of Indian films. It is matter of our country’s dignity and we support the decision,” said an official of the Pakistan’s biggest Indian film importing company, Distribution Club.
Senior representative of Pakistan Film Producers Association Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran supported the decision. “If Indian stakeholders and organisations can take a stand and do everything for the welfare of their country then why can’t we? They have banned our artists and films in the past so what’s stopping us?”
Representatives of Exhibitors Association were not available for comment on the matter but multiple cinema owners based in Lahore Cantt have confirmed the decision to stop screening Indian films.
No official notice has been issued in this regard.
Earlier this week, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) also cautioned film-makers to stop working with Pakistani talent or even releasing their films in Pakistan, reported IANS.
“The federation won’t allow Pakistani artistes to work in Indian films. Also, we won’t let producers release their films in Pakistan. The entire trade (with Pakistan) will be called off as far as the film industry is concerned,” said FWICE chief advisor, Ashoke Pandit.
“One of the reasons why we have banned (film-makers from working with Pakistani talent) is that none of the Pakistani artistes have condemned the massacre. We hope the producers, distributors and music companies will support the federation’s demands,” he said. “If any producer or distributor does not cooperate, the FWICE will boycott their shootings and other work. This means technicians and workers will not work with them and they will not be able to function.”
Pandit further added,“We will not allow any film that has any Pakistani artiste or their song in it to be release. No artist is bigger than the country.”
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