Tag Archives: Bollywood

Pakistani cinemas will screen Iranian and Turkish films to fill void

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Written by Munnazzah Raza

As the ban on Indian content persists, Pakistani cinema owners and film distributors hope to bring about a change in the cinema experience for audiences by screening IranianFilm distribution , Turkish and hopefully Chinese and South Korean films.

Film distribution company IMGC’s Chairman Shaikh Amjad Rashid and Mohsin Yaseen of Cinepax management speak with Images on screening foreign films in Pakistan.

“It’s in the initial states right now. We’ve decided to screen films from Iran and Turkey to fill the gap of Indian films,” says Rashid.

“Yes. We are looking at different options from around the world to fill the gap, as Turkish dramas had a good following in Pakistan, we feel their movies will have a good impact too. Currently, we only play films from Hollywood, Bollywood and Pakistan,” echoes Mohsin Yaseen of Cinepax (Karachi) management.

The hit Turkish drama ‘Ishq e Mamnoon’ went viral in Pakistan and girls couldn’t stop gushing over Behlül.

This move comes because local productions aren’t enough to sustain Pakistani cinemas.

Says Yaseen, “Hollywood has a set number of releases around the year and these films have a certain market following. Bollywood has a huge market following but due to the political scenario there will always be uncertainty. Pakistani movies are coming in but they are limited in quantity, and are not enough to run 52 weeks of cinema business in a year. And Iranian films have good international repute, some Iranian directors have won international awards as well.”

However, both agree that this won’t necessarily be a permanent move. The chairman explains: “If the ban on Indian films is lifted, this will fizzle out because they (Iranian and Turkish films) will not yield a profitable response; they’re very different from Pakistani culture.”

Although Turkish dramas like Ishq e Mamnoon, Fatima Gull and Mera Sultan went viral in Pakistan, it’s costly to buy their rights. But Yaseen hopes that Turkish films will be just as popular as these TV dramas.

The reason being Indian films don’t have a language barrier and our culture closely mirrors theirs. Additionally, the Pakistani audience is more receptive to Indian artists because they are popular here and are frequently seen in TV commercials, he explains.

“Iranian artists are new (to our audience), even I don’t know who their top actor or actress is,” says Rashid. “However, this experiment can be done and it can be said that there is potential by placing one or two films.”

Although Turkish dramas like Ishq e Mamnoon, Fatima Gull and Mera Sultan went viral in Pakistan, Rashid explains that they stopped playing here because it became costly to buy the rights. Plus, the traction died down.screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-7-40-56-am

“We had some advantage through Turkish dramas but there’s a difference in TV audience and the cinema audience,” he explains. “It’s about paying money to go watch a show, as opposed to sitting at home and watching one which is available on cable.”

Yaseen, on the other hand, is hopeful that the films will be as successful as the Turkish shows. “This formula worked on TV content. We are experimenting on a similar pattern as we have seen few screeners of the films and they are amazing and I’m sure our audience will like these movies as well.

On screening foreign films, IMGC aims create a trade system with Iran and Turkey and also bring China on board. “There should be a barter system. In new markets we should do a barter system, Pakistani films should also be screened there,” says the chairman.

Rashid discloses that a Pak-China film is in the works penned by Amjad Islam, which will be directed by Shehzad Rafique.

He adds, “South Korea is making exceptional movies nowadays, and we should explore China (as a market), even if 5% are released there it’ll be profitable. When Pakistani films were released in China they did really well and were screening for years.”

Although China is a viable option, as it is the second largest market after the U.S., there are a few considerations to note. For example, only 20% of foreign films are allowed to be screened in Chinese cinemas, the rest are all local productions.


“When the Indian PM went to China he took an Indian film distributor with him to sign a film agreement with them. It’s unfortunate that when Pakistani officials go they don’t take anybody from the film industry or try to get the agreements signed,” says Rashid.

However, efforts are being made on both fronts to strengthen ties with China. He discloses that a Pak-China film is in the works penned by Amjad Islam, which will soon be directed by Shehzad Rafique. They’re planning on taking two actresses; one from Pakistan and one from China. The working title of which is Rishta Hai Pyaar Ka and shooting will begin after winter.

Both, Yaseen and Rashid agree that it will take a long period of time till people become comfortable with the idea of foreign films. As of now, the foreign films which will be screened have not been finalised.

(Source: http://www.images.dawn.com)

Lights, camera, action!


Nepali movies with home-grown content and themes are doing well


Sep 23, 2016- Chhakka Panja, a recently released comedy movie, has become one of the country’s highest grossing movies of the year. The movie with a good-natured script, and based on Nepali migrant workers, has joined the illustrious Rs1crore club.

Nepali movies are making good collections at the box office in recent times. This is good news for the Nepali movie industry, which has had to compete with Bollywood and Hollywood movies. While box office collections are not the only yardstick to determine a movie’s quality, a few Nepali movies are not only earning profits but are also winning critical domestic and international acclaim.

For example, Kalo Pothi premiered in the Venice International Film Festival’s Critics Week in 2015, where it was rewarded the Fedeora certificate for best film by the Italian film critics’ society. And this year, two Nepali movies—White Sun and Dadyaa—were featured at the Festival. White Sun even managed to bag the 6th INTERFILM Award of the 73rd Venice Film Festival.

A scene from White Sun, a Nepali film and winner of the INTERFILM Award at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. White Sun is the latest work from Nepali filmmaker Deepak Rauniyar. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia)

To be sure, many Nepali movies in the past, as well as in the present, have been far from stellar. Nepali movie makers have often not shied away from borrowing the storylines and peculiarities from Bollywood movies. But recent films like Loot, Highway, Apabad and Pashupati Prasad, among others, were able to garner huge acclaim and revenues. The message to Nepali film makers is clear: if movies are well made, people will flock to the theatres to watch them.

A thriving movie industry can be a boon for a nation as a whole. Firmly established in Mumbai, the Indian film industry, or Bollywood, employs hundreds of thousands of people and has been growing by 10 percent annually. By 2016, its revenue is expected to reach $4.5 billion, according to DI International Business Development.

Bollywood took a leap forward in 2001 when it gained “industry status” that allowed banks to lend to it. Since 2004, its gross receipts have almost tripled. And it is not only about the money; the power of films to contribute to social change is also well documented.

The Nepali film industry has come a long way since the first movie, Aama, was made in 1964. The quality of the films being produced seems to be improving in recent years and more and more people are watching them. Huge numbers of people outside the country are also contributing to the sales, with Nepali movies being screened in countries like Qatar, Dubai and the UK. If the movie industry in the country is formalised like in India, it will encourage more independent and creative movie makers.

If films are based on contemporary subjects and have good content and presentation, they will do well, not only domestically but also internationally. Recent successes of a number of Nepali movies stand testament.

*Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia

(Source: http://www.kathmandupost.ekantipur.com)