Ever since the advent of the new wave of Pakistani cinema, content creators in this blooming industry have been looking to establish their footings in markets other than the local box office. The struggle comes only naturally as cinemas across the world ensure their sustainability via multiple sources of income and markets.
Big industries like Bollywood and Hollywood have innumerable examples of films whose business from international markets have outdone their home-based income. There are many Pakistani films that have exhibited a similar business pattern in markets like the UK and North America including films like Bin Roye and Janaan. Various Pakistani experts have stressed the importance of China as a potential film market and there have been continual efforts to tap into the biggest film market of the world albeit with limited success. The Covid-19 pandemic may have tarnished these prospects but it seems the local film fraternity is determined to keep taking baby steps towards achieving this stepping stone.
Galaxy Lollywood exclusive
One such development which Galaxy Lollywood exclusively came to know includes a tentative Pakistani film festival to be held in China in the coming months. We spoke to the secretary of the Pakistan Film Producers Association (PFPA) Mr. Kamran Ijaz, who revealed that the PFPA had intimated all of its members across Pakistan to send their entries of films which they deem appropriate to be shown at this festival. Entries from all the members who responded to the call have been included in this provisional list.
Kamran Aijaz also added that the officials at the Pakistani government have asked the PFPA to send a provisional list of Pakistani films locally released over the course of the past few years, though there haven’t been any guidelines or requirements regarding the subject matter/content of the films by the government for the initial list. He went on to say that the officials at the interior ministry, censor board, and the Pakistani embassy would further shortlist the films to be shown at the said festival. There are further meetings being held regarding the matter and things are still being sorted out.
The festival’s venue and date are yet to be decided, however, it is expected the films are going to screen at the festival over a course of a week.
The provisional list compiled by the Pakistan Film Producers Association is available with Galaxy Lollywood and is understandably very diverse; it includes films like Bin Roye, Chhalawa, Cake, Punjab Nahi Jaun Gi, Motorcycle Girl, and many other audience favourites along with some questionable entries like Blind Love and Bhai Log. Looking at the inclusion of substandard movies in this list, one can’t help but question why someone would want to watch a film in China that has barely attracted a handful of audiences at its home ground. Apart from that, there are also multiple clerical errors for example Parey Hut Love being included twice. However, the secretary maintained that the list is just a suggestion as per the entries sent by the members of the PFPA and the final list will be decided by the officials in both countries’ capitals, Islamabad and Beijing.
Regardless of the questionable entries included in the provisional list by the PFPA, the news of the festival in itself is a boon for the struggling Pakistani cinema industry where its products would be given a chance to be shown at a film festival exclusively arranged and designed for that very purpose. This could indeed help carve a niche of Pakistani films in the biggest market of the world that is China. Let’s hope that the floor plans materialise and the festival turns out to be a regular feature of the Chinese market.