Govt announces national awards, prize money for artists


Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said that 22 National Awards will be awarded to Pakistan’s leading musicians, artists and filmmakers in 2022, including monetary prizes. The minister further added more than Rs250 million will be given to the entertainment industry through film, music and TV national awards.

Addressing a press conference after the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Pakistan Television (PTV) and Pakistan Arts Council regarding the National Awards, the Federal Minister for Information said, “In the past, Pakistan’s narrative resources have been weakened. The film, drama and music sectors have been neglected. In the ’60s, we were the third largest filmmakers in the world, while Pakistan was the third or fourth-largest in the world in terms of cinemas.”

He added, “The new film policy had been completed and concessions were given in the film industry. Taxes have been imposed on foreign materials to encourage local content. Most television channels import foreign dramas. They adversely affect locally produced dramas. Telecasting foreign actors in advertisements affects the employment of our own actors. Big companies ignore local actors and models and bring in models and actors from abroad. Taxes are also being levied on such advertisements to discourage such measures.”

The Information Minister also revealed that NOC procedures for filmmaking are being simplified and films division are being formed inside PTV. Chaudhry then added that two big films are in the final stages. Zaheeruddin Babar is co-producing films with Uzbekistan and Allama Mohammad Iqbal with Iran.

The minister promised the two films will have budgets of multi-million dollars, their production and cast will be of international standard. He also revealed that a film on Tipu Sultan is being made in association with a private company. Chaudhry asserted that ample opportunities will be provided to young filmmakers on PTV films.

“Young filmmakers should come forward and produce films with us,” he said. “We will provide them with all possible support, including marketing services. We will do everything possible to revive the film industry. We will also reduce taxes, including discounts on electricity, with a special focus on cinemas..”

In collaboration with NCOC, steps were taken to open cinemas recently. Chaudhry said that entertainment channels had been included in the government’s advertising policy for the first time. “We want to strengthen our entertainment channels and strengthen our mediums to present Pakistan’s story,” he concluded.

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