Pashto films still rule box office: report Friday, December 18, 2009 Nisar Mahmood PESHAWAR: Production of Pashto films witnessed a boom during the last nine years. A total of 156 Pashto movies were released in that period against 114 Punjabi, 99 Urdu, 160 Hollywood and 56 Bollywood movies screened in the country during the last nine years, according to a report. Out of 156 Pashto films, 88 did good business and 44 were judged as average. Only 15 Urdu films were declared super-hit, 10 as average, 11 Punjabi films got super-hit position and 20 average, 12 Hollywood and 18 Bollywood films remained super-hit and 10 each did average. The remaining movies were flop causing huge financial losses to the filmmakers, directors, producers and actors. The business of Urdu and Punjabi films that ruled the silver screen for decades suffered to a greater extent because of low quality and lack of interest on the part of authorities concerned. The highest number of films released from 2001 to 2009 show that Pashto films despite their poor quality have still the largest audience at a time when cultural activities have come to almost a halt, especially in the NWFP and Fata. Despite a slump in film industry, coupled with threat of militancy and bomb blasts, Pashto movies are first choice of cinemagoers in the areas having Pashto-speaking population like NWFP, Karachi and Quetta. Pakistani film industry suffered a setback - mainly due to production of CD films, smuggling and import of Hollywood and Bollywood movies and cable network and many cinema houses were demolished and replaced by commercial plazas. Noted director, producer and actor Ajab Gul held the governments indifference responsible for the slump in the film industry, besides a host of other reasons. There is no patronage from government to the film industry, he said. He complained that instead of artistes, producers and directors representatives, the Censor Board and culture ministry were occupied by people who knew nothing about culture. The culture ministry, he added, was a symbolic entity, which extended no cooperation to the film industry. Whenever a new government is installed and minister appointed; artistes, producers, directors representatives are invited and promises made for the revival and improvement of film industry, but after some time all the promises are forgotten, he told The News. About success of Pashto films compared to movies in other languages, he said Pashto movies faced no threat from films in other languages, especially from Indian movies because it did not share culture, music, dialogue, etc with neighbouring India. Pashto film has separate heroes, dialogue, culture and unique viewers and it faces no threat from others, he argued. Ajab Gul said Urdu and Punjabi films were being produced in large numbers in India, putting Pakistani films in a tough competition. Indian film industry was very strong compared to ours and has a vast market throughout the world, he pointed out. Besides government patronage, the vast market of Indian movies is the biggest threat to Pakistani Urdu and Punjabi films, he said. He added that the government would have to extend full cooperation and patronage to the industry to revive Pakistani film industry. Pashto films still rule box office: report Found it interesting.