It seems as though the plans of local film-makers will not materialise due to yet another hurdle in the way of Pakistani movie releases this year. Directors including Shahzad Rafique, Syed Noor, Sangeeta and Noor Bukhari have announced that they were being forced to postpone the release of their new films owing to cinema houses in Lahore being pre-booked with Hollywood and Bollywood flicks – leaving them with no slots to launch their projects. Instead of the earlier announced Eidul Fitr release dates, the films will now hit screens on August 14 or Eidul Azha.
With multiplexes playing latest international movies, and cinemas that don’t have digital projection running re-releases of Pakistani blockbusters from the yesteryears, finding a slot in the current schedule is close to impossible. It is for this reason that the release of films likeSalute, Bhai Wanted, Tum Hi To Ho and Ishq Positive has been pushed backward. At present Blind Love and Sawaal 700 Crore Dollar Ka are two local films slated to release on Eidul Fitr. Although Jamal Shah’sRevenge of the Worthless is also expected to hit the screens on Eidul Fitr but one still cannot say for sure, considering the number of times this particular project has already been delayed.
The delay is particularly unsettling for Syed Noor who had been working on his film, Bhai Wanted for the past four years, and had finally decided to release it right after Ramazan. On the other hand, Sangeeta’s directorial venture Tum Hi To Ho was postponed due to her health issues.
Similarly, Moammar Rana’s Sikandar, and Noor Bukhari’s Ishq Positiveare both in the final phases of their shooting and are now looking at a post-eid release.
At present, the digital cinemas across Pakistan have been playing Bollywood and Hollywood films including Azhar, 1920 London, Baaghi,The Angry Birds, Mini Monster, Alice Through The Looking Glass,Warcraft and X-Men: Apocalypse. It is evident from the current line-up that not a single Pakistani movie is being shown at cinemas, or will be showcased in the near future. The situation is expected to prevail till Eidul Fitr. It is pertinent to mention that the highly anticipated Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma-starrer Sultan will be releasing on Eid and has been touted as the popular choice among exhibitors.
“We want to release local films as we want to revive our own industry but we don’t have an option,” shared Cinema Owners Association Chairman Safdar Khan.
A local cinema owner Nadir Minhas also echoed this notion. He shared, “We are unable to balance our expenditures, which is why we prefer Indian and Hollywood films. We were expecting the release of some local films this Eid but are disappointed that certain renowned film-makers have decided to delay their projects.”(Agencies)