The SHC mandates an 85 percent preference for local film screenings

The SHC mandates an 85 percent preference for local film screenings

The SHC mandates an 85 percent preference for local film screenings

The SHC mandates an 85 percent preference for local film screenings

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Following the fiasco that local films faced when their screening times were allotted to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a major development in the situation has been reported by Dawn Images (by Mohammad Kamran Jawaid) in favour of the filmmakers involved in local releases.

The Sindh High Court has ordered that local films receive 85 percent of the screen time in Pakistani cinemas, with foreign films receiving 15 percent of the exhibition space.

According to the high court order, foreign releases must follow the rules of the Motion Picture Ordinance, 1979, which states that internationally produced films screening in Pakistan can be allowed 15% screen space alongside locally produced films screening.

According to the order, the defendants must follow the Motion Picture Ordinance rules “strictly in letter and spirit” and provide 85 percent exhibition time to Pakistani films until the next hearing date on June 2.

Plaintiffs in the Sindh High Court cases 754, 754 and 755 are Cereal Entertainment (Adnan Siddiqui and Akhter Hasnain), Wajahat Rauf and Shazia Wajahat, and Farid Nawaz Productions (Yasir Nawaz and Nida Yasir) for their films Dum Mastam, Parde Mein Rehne Do, and Chakkar, respectively.

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

Filmmakers have asked for compensation in response to the damages caused by the distribution of screen time, which the relevant teams have been vocal about on social media.

While the release of Doctor Strange has already caused havoc for local films, this ruling may prove beneficial (if unchallenged) for upcoming local releases such as Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad and London Nahi Jaunga. Furthermore, while the Marvel film has done well at the box office, upcoming foreign releases such as The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Memory, and Top Gun: Maverick may be affected by this decision.

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