Director Nabeel Qureshi spilled the beans on The Black Box about the streaming scene. Turns out, pro-Indian content is taking over, squeezing out Pakistani gems. The intricate connection between the geopolitical situation and its adverse effects on the Pakistani entertainment industry was a focal point.
Nabeel shared his insights on the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, emphasizing a crucial point: the impact on the entertainment industry.
Netflix’s Regional Shift: Impact on Pakistani Content
“Let me make this clear to people who don’t seem to grasp the situation. Netflix, initially based in Los Angeles, handled all its dealings from there,” he explained. “However, in response to the heightened tensions, they established a regional office in India.”
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Nabeel underscored, “This is a fifth-generation warfare, alright? Talking about friendship between India and Pakistan is all well and good, but it’s not feasible anymore. Ever since the inception of that regional office, Pakistani content struggles to gain recognition. Be it films, even excluding originals, they’ve ceased buying rights or, when they do, the compensation is so meager that it hardly seems worthwhile.”
Shifting Dynamics: Anti-Pakistan Content and Propaganda
If you’re a Netflix buff, you’ve probably seen the shift in Indian content dynamics. It’s evolving, and not necessarily in a good way.
“In a glance, the propaganda is evident—India churning out anti-Pakistan content, sparking controversy and tarnishing the image of Pakistanis in their craft. Given the challenging times for Muslims and Pakistanis, it’s bad timing. This contributes to why Pakistani content is conspicuously absent on Netflix—either they’re not buying it, or maybe it just doesn’t resonate with them.” Qureshi shared.
Adding on, he remarked, “Moreover, our language is identical. Had we spoken a different language, we might have carved out a niche. But currently, when an Indian film drops, we all eagerly flock to it, making it an instant trend. The demand and supply are evident. There’s no dedicated space where content is tailored specifically for the Pakistani audience.”
But we were not in the same situation as we are nowadays – seeing less Pakistani content on the streaming site.
“Namaloom Afraad was the first Pakistani film that made its way to Netflix before its arrival in Pakistan.” Qureshi proudly mentioned.
As these beloved Pakistani dramas like Humsafar, Udaari, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, and Khuda Aur Muhabbat vanish from the streaming platform, alongside the disappearance of Teefa In Trouble and Janaan, it raises concerns. The absence of these titles signals a need for robust support for Pakistani content, not just internally but also at the governmental level, to ensure its sustained presence on global platforms.