A few months ago, Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) imposed the ban on Pakistani artists working in India after the major terrorist attack in Uri. In a tit for tat situation, the Pakistan Film Exhibitors and Distributors Association had announced to stop the screening of Indian movies in their cinemas. However, it seems like Pakistani cinema owners are not able to cope up with the losses they have incurred with this move.
Pakistani Cinemas will lift the self-imposed ban on Indian movies and resume the screening of Indian movies from tomorrow onwards, December 19. After thorough discussions with the concerned parties, Zoraish Lashari, Chairman of the Film Exhibitors Association, said that they have decided to lift the ban. In a press conference, he said, “The cinema owners and other stakeholders in the industry have been hit by the decision to impose a temporary suspension on the screening of Indian films. A lot of investment has been made in upgrading or building new cineplexes and multiplexes and the business at this time is dependent on the screening of latest Indian films.”
The cinema owners informed that they had only suspended the screenings of Indian movies and not completely banned them. Now, the first thing in their agenda will be to screen the films that were missed during this suspension. They will be starting the screening with Nawazuddin Siddiqui‘s Freaky Ali.
Aadil Mandviwala, Director Mandviwala Entertainment, said that they have lifted the suspension as a cinema guild. They took this decision because they would really like to support the Indian movies and expect the same in return.
The suspension resulted in losses as the screening of old and fresh Pakistani releases and Hollywood films failed to bring the audience to the theaters. Now, to cope up with it, they want to come back strong. According to a source, people have been eagerly waiting for the release of Aamir Khan‘s highly anticipated film Dangal. The source added that a private media group is presently trying to import and release Dangal in Pakistan.
As the decision has been made, the cinema owners have asked for protection if they end up receiving any kind of backlash from religious parties. Sabina Islam who is the Media and Marketing manager of a major chain of cineplexes said that 75 percent of the revenues generated in the industry came from the screening of Indian films. Pakistan is considered as the third largest market for Indian films. Indian movies returned to Pakistani cinema houses in 2008 after a 43-year-long hiatus imposed during the 1965 war.