Collaborative productions: a gateway for Pakistani filmmakers into China’s film market

 “The Pakistani film industry needs substantial support; and assistance from China holds significant value, especially given China’s emergence as the largest film market globally. With over 70,000 cinema screens within China, this presents a golden opportunity for our filmmakers to capitalize on by engaging in collaborative productions,” Syed Jamal Shah, Caretaker Federal Minister for National Heritage & Culture, shared these insights in an exclusive interview.

Mr. Shah, has already ventured into joint productions with China and was interested in further collaborations in Pakistan’s film and cinema industry. “It’s an area of keen interest; beyond that, we’re also looking at the prospect of China’s involvement in developing cinemas and cultural infrastructure within our country,” he added, “We can also exchange ideas with Chinese both in visual arts, performing arts, and cinema”.

The experience with “Ba’tie Girl” was truly remarkable, marking the first successful Pak-China co-produced and filmed within Pakistan. Hunerkada facilitated the entire process by offering various amenities, including casting support, equipment, and authorized locations. The film has recently been released, and plans are in place for additional premieres and screenings across various cities. “It was a very fruitful exercise which should encourage other filmmakers also to engage with the Chinese film industry,” he told Gwadar Pro.

In 1975, “Mera Naam Hai Mohabbat,” drawing inspiration from “Love Story” (1970), gained immense popularity in China. The film’s narrative was reportedly influenced by a traditional Chinese folk tale. Before that movie, according to Jamal Shah, the Pakistani film “Baghi” achieved groundbreaking success in China. “Baghi,” produced in 1956, was the first-ever movie to be screened in China.

“Presently, Chinese audiences exhibit a discerning taste; their sophistication has grown significantly due to the manifold development of Chinese cinema compared to our own,” Jamal Shah said and added that any film produced must meet exceptionally high standards in all aspects. “It’s no longer sufficient to excel solely in the narrative; production values must also be of the highest caliber,” he said.