Thursday, December 14

Ban on Indian movies in Pakistan is pointless

Pakistan has banned Indian movies in theaters for 30 years now. This ridiculous law, however, has not stymied the popularity of films and shows from across the border. Indian soaps, movies, and game shows are quite routinely copied. Though its not all one way traffic, as I recall my friends mentioning that Pakistani dramas were quite popular back in India too.

The piracy industry in that part of the world has been thriving ever since somebody figured out how to burn a cd-rom. Naturally there are no figures to support this claim, but I am sure there is plenty of financial loss to the filmmakers. This article in Asia Media talks about efforts being made to lift the ban.
The Pakistani Film Exhibitors Association has filed a petition in the Sindh High Court asking for permission to import and screen Indian films in movie theatres, with amicus curiae Qazi Faez Isa arguing the ban was irrational and resulted in closing down of about 925 cinemas over the years and bringing down the number and quality of feature films produced in Pakistan.

India has no such ban on the import of Pakistani films according to the lawyers. They argued that Indian films in theatres would increase revenue and attract more viewers.

What's interesting is the ban was initially sought out for 5 years in 1961. The aim was to actually improve the Pakistani film industry. How stupid is that?

It seems to me that the only thing that can improve the quality of films is competition. If Indian films are better, then so be it. Banning them isn't going help the local industry. The ban should be lifted. It doesn't make sense.

Though could they perhaps place restrictions on the length of these movies!? 3 hours! I can't stand how long desi films are...

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