A group of Pakistani film distributors and producers have filed a motion at Lahore’s High Court seeking a ban on Bollywood films being shown in the country.
Choudhry Kamran, a film distributor who is leading the campaign says that screening of Indian films is damaging Pakistan’s film industry (Lollywood) financially, as it can’t keep up with the technology and special effects used in Bollywood.
Kamran said: “Because of Bollywood, we can’t make new films. That’s why we want the films to be banned.”
Often in Pakistan, studios and cinemas are often owned by the same company and they use ticket sales to fund new films.
Traditionally Lollywood attracted mostly lower-income families to the cinema, and wasn’t seen as a place for more affluent members of the community to frequent.
Now with progression of access to online content and social media in Pakistan, trends have changed drastically over the last decade, as too has the appeal of going to the cinema.
Many have slammed the group for filng the high court motion in Lahore saying that it’s nonsensical to try ban Bollywood in Pakistan.
Speaking to the Asian Express, a Pakistani source close to the Lollywood industry said: “It’s ridiculous to think someone should file a motion to ban Bollywood films based on the fact that they are better than Lollywood.
“What will that solve? People still find a way to enjoy entertainment through other ways – like internet and pirate copies.
“The Pakistani distributors and cinema bosses should look to make the popularity of Bollywood and Hollywood to their financial advantage – if ticket sales are up, then it’s a profit. Where that profit is spent is entirely up to the cinema bosses – they can invest the money back into Lollywood to make better film.”
Four years ago, there were only 12 screens in Lahore. Now, there are 32.