Pak filmmakers fear extinction threat from India
As a path-breaking culture of film exchange begins with the screening of Indian films in Pakistan and vice versa, the jury is still out whether it's going to last for some time for real good. India blockbuster 'Taare Zamin Par', by Aamir Khan, and Pakistan's super hit 'Khuda Ke Liye' by Mansoor Shoaib, have sparked off a debate; who the winners and losers are, writes Kathy Robinson for India EU Film Initiative.
The debate on the future of Pakistan's cinema has become crucial for the Pakistanis as their film industry is on the verge of extinction. Well...that's what the Pakistani say. Thanks to 50 years of neglect, Islamisation and a brutal assault by Bollywood. To the horror of Pakistanis, Bollywood is getting bigger and bigger, trampling over the ambitions of Pakistani filmmakers and stars, many fear in Pakistan. Interestingly, Pakistani exhibitors are in favour of a free for all situation, meaning let the Bollywood come. This, they say, will bring crowds to their empty cinema halls.
Pakistani cinema halls disappear
According to various reports, there were about 1,300 cinema halls during the 1970s in Pakistan. But that's history! Now, the number has dropped down to about 200 in the whole country. As the decline of Pakistani cinema halls continues, less and less films are made in the country. There was a time when Pakistan produced about 300 movies a year. But that's history as during the last four years this number shrunk to 18-30 movies a year!