ISLAMABAD: Foreseeing film industry’s revival over the next decade, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Sunday said the expansion of the industry was vital to project the “national narrative through screen tourism”.
“Screen tourism presents an opportunity to spread the narrative of Pakistan, as seen in the successful examples of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran, where budding film industries have thrived,” she said while addressing a ceremony before the departure of 25 filmmakers who won the National Amateur Film Festival Award to Australia on Monday.
The Ministry of Information has sponsored these students’ one-year training in New York Academy, Australia.
The minister said it was high time to invest in Pakistan’s entertainment industry, which currently enjoyed tax exemptions.
“Over the next decade, I foresee a revival of the industry that will allow it to compete with neighbouring countries and even international markets,” she said.
According to her, the high achievers had the potential to make a significant impact in this field. She recalled that Pakistan’s film industry had faced a significant setback between 1970 and 2000, causing its growth to stagnate.
However, since 2000, the industry has experienced a boost, although its progress has been hindered by the absence of cinemas and affordability issues, which limited access for the general public, she maintained.
The minister said the government introduced a film policy in 2017 to address these challenges, adding that that extensive research and consultations with relevant stakeholders and experts were conducted to develop this comprehensive policy.
Lessons, she added, were learnt from countries with flourishing film industries or successful revivals, providing valuable insights.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2023