ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Wednesday underlined the need for promoting film, drama, music and culture to effectively present the national narrative at the international level as he announced restoring in categories of film, music and drama.
Addressing an MoU signing ceremony between the Ministry of Information, National Arts Council and state-run TV regarding the National Entertainment Awards, he said that the political debates do not promote the national narrative as effectively as do the mediums of entertainment. He said the upcoming National Entertainment Awards would be the largest in the history of the country. Under the national awards, 22 awards would be given in film, television and music categories and Rs250 million would be allocated for these awards, he added.
He said the new film policy has been finalised, which would give many incentives to the local filmmakers, whereas the foreign content would be taxed. The minister said that he proposed to the FBR that the imported dramas should be taxed to protect the local entertainment industry. Instead of foreign artists, casting of local ones in the advertisement would be encouraged, he added.
A film division has been set up in the state-run TV, which would encourage young filmmakers, he added. The national TV film division was producing two big-budget movies on the lives of Mughal King Babar and national poet Allama Iqbal in collaboration with Uzbekistan and Iran, respectively. Moreover, a private firm was making a film on the life of Tipu Sultan. He said that he had personally approached the NCOC for reopening of the cinema houses in the country. He said for the first time, the entertainment channels were included in the advertisement policy of the ministry, so that they could flourish.
Arts Council of Pakistan President Muhammad Ahmed Shah said the national awards to be held under the patronisation of the government would be totally merit-based and no favours would be given to anyone.
Earlier, state-run TV MD Amer Manzoor and Arts Council of Pakistan President Ahmed Shah signed the MoU. Information and Broadcasting Secretary Shehera Shahid was also present.