ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday discussed cooperation with the officials of British Film of Institute (BFI) to create a fund for film, certification and training.
The minister visited BFI and met its senior officials to discuss possible future collaboration on filmmaking. Fawad said that Pakistan could export skilled workers of the film industry to the United Kingdom, which was currently facing a shortage of skilled workers. He invited British and Hollywood actors to shoot their films in the northern areas of Pakistan – famous worldwide for their pristine natural beauty. He said that the government would provide tax relief and other incentives for movies shot in Pakistan.
He apprised the BFI officials that being the culture minister, he planned to develop and revitalise the film industry of Pakistan. He also informed them about his plan to establish the University of Media Communication, which would impart education and training in performing arts as well as film related to engineering and technology. In order to revive the film industry, the government would create a fund for film, he added.
The minister said that Pakistan had tremendous talent to develop its film industry and recently the foreign qualified youngsters had made several successful movies. He expressed the desire to establish a state-owned kids channel as currently there was no channel for kids’ entertainment in Pakistan. The BFI experts said that they would like to provide assistance in setting kids television channel.
Giving an overview of the film industry of Pakistan, the minister said that until 1960, Pakistan was the third largest film producing country in the world. After that, the decline started and in 2005 no film was produced, however, since 2006 the cinema revival had started and currently the industry was flourishing, he added. He said that presently 187 screens were operational in Pakistan and his plan was to take the number to 1,000 in the next five years.
The BFI experts shared with the minister their expertise in various film-related areas like creating a fund, certification, tax relief, training and talent hunt. They welcomed the minister’s proposal for collaboration between film industries of the two countries.