It is time for Lollywood to die

Published: October 28, 2010
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Buxom heroines dancing around trees are not enough to make a successful film industry

We’ve been hearing about Lollywood’s revival for a decade now. Filmmakers and actors have been struggling (read: whining and demanding) since ages.

The ministry of culture has given Lollywood the industry status. The government has announced special grants. All the taxes on Pakistani films are waived off. Foreign films are banned time and again to promote local films.

All this and our veteran director Syed Noor says Lollywood can’t compete with foreign films.

Why? Because we don’t have the finances to match Bollywood films and people should stop comparing Pakistani films with big budget movies, he says.

How does one expect viewers to waste their money on tickets only to watch voluptuous figures dancing around the fields? Our filmmakers have been begging for years. Their feuds continue incessantly unless it’s about free gifts.

All the longstanding disputes were settled overnight under the banner of “United” Film Association when it came to sharing funds from the government. At the end, however, all came up with typical Lollywood films to exhibit on Eid and in some cases old films shot years ago were screened.

For the government that has been supporting Lollywood it’s time to realise that you can’t be a master of all trades.

If Pakistan’s entertainment scene has not been able to produce good films in recent years, it has at least marked success the world over with its music industry – something our neighbours couldn’t do. But do we find whining and self-pity at the other side of the border? No!

For the people concerned about a few good films produced by Pakistanis, movies like Khuda Kay Liye and Ramchand Pakistani were never associated with Lollywood anyway. The films genuinely competed in theatres and such projects will continue to draw public interest in the future as well.

If you’re thinking about the livelihood of studio workers and technical staff, they don’t seem to be much dependent on Lollywood anyway. The industry is producing only about 40 films annually to support these artists.  The point is simple – if you can’t make it, break it.

Lollywood is terminally ill. Electroshocks won’t help. Sustaining it will only bring massive losses. The best that can be done to the industry is active euthanasia – stop resuscitating, give it a lethal injection and let Lollywood die once and for all.


Farwa.Zahra

Farwa Zahra

Farwa Zahra is a Qatar-based journalist. She has studied Gender and Media at the London School of Economics. She tweets as @syedaz (twitter.com/syedaz)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.