The Curious Case Of Overboard Film Promotions

Film promotions are, undoubtedly, an essential part of the entire process. Innovative film promotions are always welcome – yet remain to be fully explored. While the cast and crew of most projects follow an almost checklist-type method of campus visits, interviews, BTS videos, and the like, this time around, a few promotions have ruffled feathers.

Film Promotions And Ramazan

People seem to be upset over the fact that certain projects have taken unusual routes this time around. With five films releasing on Eid, it became imperative that a large chunk of promotions take place in Ramazan. Now, here’s the thing. Fortunately or unfortunately, people are a tad bit more emotionally charged within this particular month. Music seems to be a no-go area for most, out of respect. This puts all upcoming projects in murky waters. After all, music is an essential part of all projects. What becomes even more tricky is visiting certain areas and carrying out promotions there, tying this in with the sanctity of that space, and the time during which these promotions are being carried out.

Visiting A Shrine

Recently, team Chakkar visited Karachi’s Abdullah Shah Ghazi Shrine. Not only were pictures and videos made public, but the team posted a vlog regarding the same. Many people took offense to this, with some stating that the team was following the trajectory of Bollywood stars who have been seen to do the same in the past. Some went as far as to point out the irony of going to a shrine to promote a movie, while others called the gesture a joke.

While the team may have been coming from a place of wanting to seek blessings, the fact that it hurt the sentiments of the very public that they are trying to sell tickets to is telling of how insensitive the move may have been. Mixing religion or culturally sensitive elements with entertainment is seldom an intelligent move, and that very fact has been proven this time around as well. Perhaps, the visit could have remained a private ordeal, instead of being included as a promotional move.

Public Promotions With Performances

Recently, the respective teams of Dum Mastam and Parde Mein Rehne Do were seen visiting malls to promote their films. While both films look great in their own right, it is also true that they contain catchy musical numbers. People seemed to take offense at the fact that music and small performances were a part of these promotions in public places in Ramazan.

One can take into consideration the fact that the teams have been working hard within the same month to go out of their way to ensure ticket sales through these promotional means. However, the regard for general sensitivity becomes a huge concern, especially in a religiously charged climate like Pakistan.

The Future Of Film Promotions

This criticism can be applied to most of the films that are awaiting their release. Is it just bad timing for these projects, all of which entail musical numbers and performances of some kind? Is there a larger conversation that must be had on sensitivity? Perhaps, questions around promotions themselves can be raised, where tried and tested formulas may yield some form of results, but could do with tweaking. Must the makers and the audience meet each other halfway somehow, where sentiments are not hurt, yet the goal is obtained?

While intolerance on part of the audience is never ideal, nor acceptable, the fact is that the climate of Pakistan has changed in many ways. At a time when films have suffered enough, what can be done to ensure that people are being reached out to in the most effective manner? Maybe, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and create a new map of navigating through this climate in the most feasible way to ensure mutual satisfaction.

What is your take on these film promotions? Let us know in the comments.


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