Ban on films with Pakistani artistes: Pahlaj Nihalani and Shyam Benegal weigh in
After the The Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) decided to not screen films with Pakistani artistes or technicians in India, prominent members of the industry have opposing points to the decision and ban.
It was initally decided that films that are ready to be released will not be touched, and the then impending decision would be upheld only on upcoming films. However, Karan Johar's film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil now faces a serious financial threat.
Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal has mixed feelings about the decision. In an interview with Times Now, he said, "It's perfectly within their [COEAI] right to do so. These things happen."
Upon asked on his view on the matter, he said, "I have no views on the matter."
Will he work with Pakistani actors in the future? "Why would I want to do that, when I can work with an Indian actor? This is a complicated problem in the current scenario; it's a part of a larger fight."
Meanwhile, CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani believes that this decision goes against the film industry. "When we have good relations with Pakistan with made films with their actors; now we don't. But the association has no right to take such a decision. From now on, no Pakistani actor will work in our films, and I fully support that but the films that are complete should not be touched."
Nihalani was referring to films such as Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Raees and Dear Zindagi.
Nitin Datar, President of COEAI, had said, "We are sticking to our decision until the situation between India and Pakistan doesn't improve. There will be no loses for the exhibitors because other films are also releasing. But those who have entered into an agreement with films with Pakistani artistes might face loses. We will see how to compensate for that."