Pakistani cinema hall owners have “temporarily” stopped screening Indian films amidst rising tension between the two countries following the Uri terror attack.
The Pakistani film producers and exhibitors have also announced they will not import more Indian films till normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan.
“Although the cinema owners have decided not to exhibit Indian films in Pakistani cinemas in the current situation, the decision is temporary as it is the bread and butter of the number of people associated with the film industry.
“Since the government has not imposed any ban on screening of Indian films, therefore, it is a temporary ban and may last for a week or so,” film producer and exhibitor Suhail Khan told PTI. He said the Indian movies are really doing very well in Pakistani cinemas.
“Although good local movies are being made (in Pakistan), the Indian films have played a significant role in revival of cinema in the country,” he said, adding it will be very difficult for the people associated with the film industry here to say goodbye to Indian films.
Talking about the decision of the local exhibitors not to import Indian film “MS Dhoni The Untold Story”, Khan said this is not a conventional commercial movie, and interests basically the Indian audience which is why the exhibitors are not interested in it.
Producer Ghulam Muhayudin said “big sacrifices” should not be expected from the people associated with the film industry during such times.
Nadeem Mandviwalla of the Mandviwala Entertainment has expressed his displeasure over a resolution of the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) saying it will not hire any Pakistani artist, technician or singer “till the situation is OK between the Pakistani and Indian governments”.
Mandviwalla said when an Indian trade body passed a resolution and endorsed that Pakistani stars would not be working in their country, they left us with no choice. They are our counterparts.
“If you endorse such things there, then we will also come up with our response. Sentiments are on both sides.” He said while the governments on both sides were working on the issue, there was no reason for trade bodies to come in between.
Mohsin Yaseen, General Manager Marketing of Cinepax Cinemas, said that no Indian film would be screened in multiplexes till the situation calmed down.
He said that they wanted to express solidarity with the armed forces.
Similarly, Nueplex Cinemas have said in a post on their website: “To express solidarity with the Armed Forces of Pakistan, the management of Nueplex Cinemas has decided to stop the screening of Indian films with immediate effect.”