The once thriving Pakistani film industry is now almost dead; the reasons behind the demise are many. The industry, which once boasted more than 700 cinemas now, has just over 100 left. The number of films produced in Pakistan per year has declined from 200 to under 25. Most cinema halls have been converted into shopping malls or housing apartments. The theme of most Pakistani films had been romantic films or the Punjabi movies.

But a recent spate of ambitious productions starting from ‘Khuda Ke Liye’ have raised hopes that the moribund movie industry may be on the verge of a renaissance. The new projects like Humayun Saeed’s production Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, Shahzad Rafique’s ‘Ishq-e-Khuda’, Matteela production’s ‘Zinda Bhaag’ and Iram Parveen’s internationally acclaimed, small-budget ‘Josh’ are few of the reviving injections for the Pakistani cinema. I would like to draw the attention of the media giants to invest and produce quality films for the betterment and competition of the neighboring country.

In this regard, initiative was taken by ARY films and ISPR is worth mentioning. Upcoming productions like ‘Waar’, ‘Operation 021’ and ‘Say-E-Khuda-E-Zuljalal’ whose trailers have put a new back into the Pakistani cinema. The quality of action and dialogues has improved and has the ability to glue the audience to the cinema screens. It is refreshing to see Pakistani filmmakers taking a different approach from the past of singing and dancing and is now working on topics that are thought provoking. Their aim is to stir the senses and create positive attitudes as well as educating the public on many issues prevailing in the country.

Through films we can present our culture and to the world in a better and positive manner. If we can make Pakistani cinema such as these upcoming movies, the backbone of our revival, it will lead to further higher budget thought provoking movies. Our cinema owners, in national interest, should not be afraid of competition from Indian films; they should themselves live up to the moviegoers’ expectations.


Lahore, August 20.