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Iran, Turkey Movies to Replace Bollywood Films in Pakistan

If screened in Pakistan, films by Majid Majidi and Asghar Farhadi can attract large audiences to the cinemas as they are among the most successful Iranian productions in the world which have gained international acclaim, collected many awards and done well in the box-office as well.If screened in Pakistan, films by Majid Majidi and Asghar Farhadi can attract large audiences to the cinemas as they are among the most successful Iranian productions in the world which have gained international acclaim, collected many awards and done well in the box-office as well.

The ban on Indian films and media in Pakistan has turned out to be a good omen for other markets, as all local cinemas are set to screen Iranian and Turkish films.

The move is aimed at restoring the declining cinema industry, which was dependant on Indian content for major part of the sales but ever since the ban, the local cinema industry has been witnessing a major drop in profits.

Pakistan film distributors have started formal contacts in Iran and Turkey for the import of their movies, the Pakistani financial daily Business Recorder reported.

"Iranian movies are being appreciated globally and their screening in Pakistan must be encouraged," the Executive Director of Pakistan National Institute for Folk and Traditional Heritage, Fouzia Saeed, said.

Turkish dramas are already popular in Pakistan, and some TV shows have enjoyed massive fan following in the country.

Marketing Manager of Pakistan’s Cinepax Cinema in Karachi, Mohsin Yaseen, said that they would love to experiment with Iranian movies as they are the best way of cultural exchange.

Alongside Iranian and Turkish movies, there is news of screening Chinese and South Korean movies as well.

The decision has come forth as a reason towards the insufficient number of local movies, which are not enough to sustain the Pakistani cinemas. "Pakistani movies are coming in but they are limited in quantity, and are not enough to run 52 weeks of cinema business in a year. And Iranian films have good international repute, some Iranian directors have won international awards as well," Yaseen said.

However, the move could be a short-term solution to ensure the survival of local cinemas. In the longer run, Pakistan should promote its own films to cater the demand of the public.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have soared since grenade-hurling militants raided India’s Uri army base near the de-facto border dividing Kashmir on September 18 in the worst such attack for years.

Following the raid, the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association, which represents a number of Hindi film industry employees, passed a motion banning Pakistani artists until relations improve.

Pakistan’s Film Exhibitors and Distributors group responded by suspending the screening of all Indian films "until normalcy returns". Pakistan’s state-run media authority also banned all Indian content from television and radio networks. It threatened to suspend the licenses of any station caught flouting the ban.

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