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LAHORE: As an actor, director, producer, painter and social worker, Jamal Shah surely has many accolades to his name. Over the years, the Revenge of the Worthless star has undertaken a number of projects so as to promote arts and culture across Pakistan and continues to do so, as the director general of the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA).
Shah is, in fact, currently elbows deep in trying to take the local arts scene up a notch. “PNCA is a very important institution for me and for Pakistan because it promotes our culture, our heritage and a positive image of our country,” he told The Express Tribune. “In the past, we have organised many cultural programmes with foreign countries and are committed to hosting more of them in the future. I have a number of plans in my mind to develop PNCA further and with the help of the government, we will soon be doing some great things for film, drama, music and all other forms of art within Pakistan.”
According to Shah, his aim is to build capacity for those associated with the field of art and ensure that they benefit from it, especially with regards to the film industry. “I want to establish a film finance fund which, if you ask me, is crucial at a time like now, when Lollywood is flourishing. I want to stimulate film-making and therefore, we are also planning to set up an academy to generate more local talent,” revealed the actor.
Considering his past achievements, Shah is undoubtedly the best man for the job. His services date back to 1984, when he established a fine arts department at the University of Balochistan and served as its head for three years. The director also formed and work as the chairman of the Artist Association of Balochistan. Not to mention, Shah is also the brains behind the Hunerkada Art Academy which he founded in 1992 and has remained PNCA’s executive director up until two weeks ago when he became the director general.
Films, in particular, are arguably Shah’s strong suit. “Nowadays, I am writing new film scripts and will produce a comedy next time. It will be good entertainment as well as educational,” he shared. “I hope to highlight some of the problems of our local industry. Shooting will be conducted in Lahore and other beautiful parts of Pakistan.”
Naturally, Shah has plenty to say regarding the current ban on Indian films in the country. According to him, the entire situation is disappointing. “You see, we were all moving forward and our industry was also developing with the import of Indian films. At the same time, we cannot deny that Pakistani films are coming into their own too,” he stated. “In the current circumstances, we shouldn’t rely on India. Instead, we should try and strengthen our own cinema. Everyone knows they have no solid reason to ban Pakistani artists and we have been making great films recently. We simply need to make more films so that the audience doesn’t lean towards Bollywood.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2016.
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This article was originally published on http://tribune.com.pk/story/1211109/new-horizons-one-step-time/