The SHC demands an 85 percent preference for local film screenings

The SHC demands an 85 percent preference for local film screenings

The SHC demands an 85 percent preference for local film screenings

The SHC demands an 85 percent preference for local film screenings

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Following the catastrophe that local films suffered when their screening slots were given to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a major development in the matter has been reported by Dawn Images (by Mohammad Kamran Jawaid) in favour of the filmmakers participating in local releases.

The Sindh High Court has ruled that local films receive 85 percent of the screen time in Pakistani theatres, with international films receiving 15 percent of the display space.

According to the high court judgement, overseas releases must follow the norms of the Motion Picture Ordinance, 1979, which specifies that globally produced films playing in Pakistan can be permitted 15% screen space alongside locally produced films screening.

According to the judgement, the defendants must observe the Motion Picture Ordinance provisions “strictly in letter and spirit” and offer 85 percent screening time to Pakistani films until the next hearing date on June 2.

Plaintiffs In The Case

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The Sindh High Court suits numbering 754, 754 and 755 have Cereal Entertainment (Adnan Siddiqui and Akhter Hasnain), Wajahat Rauf and Shazia Wajahat, and Farid Nawaz Productions (Yasir Nawaz and Nida Yasir) as plaintiffs, for their films Dum Mastam, Parde Mein Rehne Do and Chakkar respectively.

Defendants In The Case

The defendants in the suits are as follows: the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Central Board of Film Censors, Punjab Film Censor Board, Sindh Board of Film Censors, Competition Commission of Pakistan, J.B. Films, Nueplex Cinemas, Cinepax Cinemas, Cinegold Cinemas, HKC Entertainment and the Karachi District South deputy commissioner.

Filmmakers Call For Compensation

Filmmakers called for compensation in the face of damages the films and makers faced with the distribution of screen time, of which the relevant teams have been vocal about on social media.

What Happens Next?

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While chaos has already ensued for local films in the wake of the release of Doctor Strange, this ruling may prove beneficial (if gone unchallenged) for upcoming local releases such as Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad and London Nahi Jaunga. Moreover, while the Marvel film has amassed big figures at the box office, upcoming foreign releases such as The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Memory, and Top Gun: Maverick stand to potentially be impacted by this decision.

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