Bollywood blamed for sounding death knell for Lollywood

June 21st, 2008 - 6:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, June 21 (ANI): Bollywood films are raking in large amounts of cash in Pakistan, so much so that they have closed down the Urdu film industry, Lollywood, says film writer and actor Raja Riaz.

The Pakistani actor said that his country is losing millions in foreign exchange by importing Indian films.

To date, 18 movies have been imported under the new foreign films import policy that says that any film that has not been shot in India can be screened in Pakistan and also the film should have its certificate of origin from country other than India.

“The local investors have shied away from investing in films here. Few Urdu films are in pipeline. Only the Punjabi films production is continuing and that too of low budget projects. If the situation continues the few people still associated with the film industry will also leave and engage in some other business, The Nation quoted Riaz, as saying.

“The government instead of allowing import of Indian films should have devised a strategy to ensure that the local industry did not have any negative impact. Bollywood filmmakers are not allowed to shoot films here nor Indian actors are allowed to act in Pakistani films. They should have allowed it first to ensure that not all cash flow is from Pakistan to India but it is both ways.

“If Bollywood filmmakers come and make films here it would give jobs to our technicians and people related to the film industry. When they would come here they would spend the money bringing in revenue and jobs for locals,” Riaz added.

He was of the view that co-productions was the solution for improving the situation.

He was critical of the censor policy and said there was urgent need to revise it.

“Everyone knows the imported films are Indian. Who are they trying to fool by presenting certificates of origin from other countries? If an inquiry is held many of these certificates will prove to be false. These are all pure Indian flicks and the money is flowing directly to Bollywood from here,” Riaz said.

He said filmmaking is being taught in a number of educational institutions including NCA and Beaconhouse.

“These young graduates can change the complexion of things here if the government is supportive. The banks and financial institutions extend loans on every kind of project except films. If they start extending loans to these talented graduates things would change positively.

“World has changed and our huge cinemas have become obsolete. They should be replaced with multiplexes where in one place at least three or four films can be screened at a time. The government and the banks can help in doing that,” Riaz said. (ANI)

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