PFPA demands complete ban on Indian Films.

The banning of Bollywood movies is quite a common practice, carried out by our Censor Board on the regular. Be it the occasion of Eid or the explicit content of the film, the Board doesn’t hold back in disallowing the screening of Indian films.  Padman, Veere Di Wedding, Raazi and even Raees; Mahira Khan’s debut with Shah Rukh Khan, were all stopped at the border.

The massive revenue brought by Bollywood material is known to us all. Despite that, the Pakistan Film Producers Association (PFPA) has demanded a complete ban on the release of all Indian films in the Country.

The Senior Representative of PFPA, Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran, told The Express Tribune, “If Indian stakeholders and organizations can take a stand and do everything for the welfare of their industry, then why can’t we? They have banned our artists and films in the past so what’s stopping us?”

The reason given behind this call was that foreign content was being prioritized over local productions. PFPA also took their demand a step further, writing a letter to the PM Imran Khan and requesting him to take necessary steps to finalize this plea.

PFPA has previously tried to actively persuade past governments for implementation of this ban too but to no success. Nonetheless, it continues to remain unbending as the members of the Board genuinely believe the local film industry is suffering because of the release of Indian films. An official petition for a ban has been submitted to Lahore High Court.

Kamran elaborated, “We are lucky enough to be in a position to make such bold requests for the well-being of local films. It is great to see that the business of film-making has restarted in Pakistan and we should do everything we can to support this. The last six years have proved that we are more than capable of holding our own.”

Needless to say, the stakeholders of digital cinemas within Pakistan weren’t too enthusiastic about this venture. A ban on Bollywood movies will cause great disturbance to their businesses and discourage investors, resulting in decreasing revenue.

“PFPA should accept the reality and instead of writing letters to Imran Khan, they should take positive steps for the revival of the industry and the production of more films,” claimed a senior member of the Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association. “There are various senior film producers within PFPA that no longer work and it’s funny to see them demand bans when they can’t even produce ten films a year. They have to understand that Bollywood films have a massive viewership and this brings in a lot of revenue.”

Kamran further explained how there were two options for the authorities to choose from; either a complete ban is imposed on Indian films, or active effort is made to prioritize local content.

He further provided that the association is planning a meeting with Imran Khan in order to express their concerns properly.