Tag Archives: Indian films

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)

Jio Mami Mumbai Film Festival draws NGO’s ire for screening Pakistani classic

A complaint has been registered at Amboli police station against the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, where a Pakistani film will be screened later this month.

The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, which will begin from 20 October, will showcase the 1959 Pakistani film titled Jago Hua Savera, directed by AJ Kardar. The film is being screened in the fest’s ‘Restored Classics’ section, which is headed by Dhobi Ghat director Kiran Rao.

Prithvi Mhaske, who filed the complaint on Saturday, told IANS: “We have filed a complaint at Amboli police station against MAMI film festival which has plans to showcase a Pakistani film at the festival. Our intentions are very clear. We will protest against the festival if they showcase this film. We will be protesting outside Infinity Mall, where the event is taking place.”

Mhaske is the president of Sangharsh Foundation, an NGO in Mumbai.

In his letter to the police, Mhaske said: “The organisers of this event are more likely to flare outrage among people by screening this Pakistani film in their festival. This will just not be acceptable as it will give rise to more tension among the people. Moreover, IMPPA has also decided to ban Pakistani actors from working in Bollywood and also almost all single screen theatres have decided to boycott movies of Pakistani actors. So, why (are) the organisers of the Mumbai Film Festival pouring so much love towards Pakistani actors?”

Mhaske also told PTI, “If the organisers do not stop the film’s screening, my workers will stall (it).”

Senior PI with the Amboli Police Station Bharat Gaikwad said that he had received the complain from Mhaske, and had “summoned both the parties to go into the merits of the application”.

Over 180 films from 54 countries, including features, documentaries, short films are to be showcased at the Mumbai Film Festival.

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-9-58-00-amJago Hua Savera (Day Shall Dawn) depicts life in a small fishing village in East Bengal (now Bangladesh; then part of Pakistan). It was written by the poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and recently restored, with a screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

After the 18 September terrorist attack at the Uri army camp, relations between India and Pakistan have been strained. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had issued an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave India and said the party would not let their movies release in India.

The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association passed a resolution banning Pakistanis from working in films being made in India as they were upset that many Pakistani artistes did not condemn the incident.

In retaliation, some Pakistani theatre chain owners banned the screening of Indian films.

(Source: http://www.firstpost.com)