Lahore: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has a huge fan following worldwide. However, here is some bad news for 'Sultan's' fan, Salman's highly anticipated film "Tubelight" might not release in Pakistan around the Eid as a few local filmmakers and organisations have demanded the release of the film in the country be put on hold.
The Pakistan Film Distributors Association and the Pakistan Film Producers Association, along with various local film-makers, are actively trying to stall the release of "Tubelight", citing better business for the Pakistani films scheduled to release at the same time, reports tribune.com.pk.
According to the protesters, as decided by the Federal Ministry of Information in 2010, the release of any Indian film on a Muslim holiday in Pakistan is forbidden. The filmmakers are even ready to take the matter to court, if required.
"Yalghaar" and "Shor Sharaba" are two Pakistani films that have currently been slated for a release on the Eid 2017. "Indian films dominate our box office the whole year round. It's only fair that Eid -- being a Muslim festival -- should not be. Besides, as Pakistanis, we must support the release of local content first," said Sohail Khan, producer of "Shor Sharaba".
"‘Shor Sharaba' is supposed to release on Eidul Fitr and if the government doesn't stall ‘Tubelight', I will not release my film as a protest," he added. According to sources, the filmmakers will first urge the government to not give an NOC (No Objection Certificate) to "Tubelight" and for this, the associations are planning to write an official letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Also, they held a meeting here wherein it was decided that the entire Pakistani film industry -- even its technicians and other less prominent members -- will join the planned protest to stop "Tubelight" from being released on the Eid, reports tribune.com.pk.
"It's been decided that all those related to the Pakistani film industry will support the Pakistani films that are supposed to release on Eidul Fitr," confirmed filmmaker Altaf Hussain. Actor Mustafa Qureshi said the government should always give top priority to local projects.
"I have always maintained that there should be a complete ban on Indian films," he said.
According to sources, the ministry had given directives to stop the release of "Tubelight" and Vidya Balan's "Begum Jaan" well in advance.
Directed by Kabir Khan, "Tubelight" also features Chinese actress Zhu Zhu.