There has been a complete ban on the screening of Indian films in cinema houses in Pakistan since late 2019.
Faysal Quraishi, one of Pakistan’s top actors and producers, has advocated for the release of Indian films in the country to revive the local cinema exhibition sector.
Quraishi, who has starred in several hit serials and also produced many blockbuster series, said Pakistan needed to lift the ban on screening of Indian films to survive and grow.
“Being a Pakistani, I’m very patriotic. But if you have to run Pakistani cinemas, you must exhibit Indian films. I’m being very selfish.
“But I know the audience in Pakistan wants to watch Indian films. You can’t enforce your will on them. (Let us) Work to improve relations,” he said in an interview with a local channel.
There has been a complete ban on the screening of Indian films in cinema houses in Pakistan since late 2019. Still, movie buffs can easily watch these movies on different streaming platforms like Netflix and Prime Video, which are legal, and even others that are accessible through VPN services.
If there was no ban on Indian films in Pakistan, Quraishi said the Pakistan film drama industry would have been earning around Rs 6,000 to 7,000 million annually from the entertainment business, including screening of Pakistani content on Indian streaming portals and some channels.
“Our movies and serials were being shown on their online portals and people went to the cinemas as well to watch Indian films, and it brought in valuable revenue for our industry. It is funny we tend to shut down our avenues of revenue,” he said.
Quraishi said he had concluded that until Indian films were allowed to be screened in Pakistani cinemas its industry could not grow.
“People need new and exciting content to attract them to the cinemas and for that not only do we need to improve our content and business models but also have no ban on screening of Indian movies. This would also reopen our content on streaming portals,” he added.
Quraishi said the Pakistan entertainment industry can be revived and it was necessary for Pakistani content to be shown on streaming portals.
“It is time we started producing content of such a level that we can even hit the international streaming platforms,” he said.