Islamabad: Film distributors in Pakistan have started screening Iranian films after a ban on Indian movies following rising tensions along the Line of Control(LoC).
The move is an attempt for survival as well as to restore the glory of Pakistani cinema, which has been on a precipitous decline over the last few years. Considering extreme popularity of Indian films in Pakistan, it is uncertain whether the move would save the Pakistan film industry but distributors believe that it could be the beginning of a revival.
Fouzia Saeed, executive director of Pakistan National Institute for Folk and Traditional Heritage, in an interview with IRNA, an Iranian news agency , said that Persian films are culturally very close to Pakistani society and ought to be screened across the country.
“Iranian movies are being appreciated globally and their screening in Pakistan must be encouraged,” she said. Mohsin Yaseen, general manager marketing of Pakistan’s Cinepax Cinema, said that they would experiment with Iranian movies as movies are the best way of cultural exchange. Media reports had earlier said that Pakistan film distributors have initiated formal contacts in Iran and Turkey for the import of their movies.
The ban on Bollywood movies comes after the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) prohibited its members from hiring Pakistani actors as long-standing tensions between the two countries escalated after attack on Indian Army camp in Kashmir’s Uri town+ in September. Pakistan’s domestic film industry had started screening Indian movies in 2007.