A group of Pakistani film producers and distributors has filed a motion in Lahore High Court seeking a ban on Bollywood films being shown in the country.

The distributors say Bollywood films are a threat to local productions.

In Pakistan, the studios and cinema houses are often owned by the same company that uses the proceeds from ticket sales to fund new films.

In recent years, going to the cinema has become more popular across Pakistan. Four years ago, there were only 12 screens in Lahore. Now, there are 32.

"There is a need for these [Bollywood] films if you want to save the Pakistani cinema industry," Nadir Minhas, director of PAF cinema in Lahore, told Al Jazeera.

"If these films don't come here, it will go back to being a niche industry."

But the group seeking a court ban said that Bollywood films were keeping the audience from watching Pakistani films, which is hurting local producers and distributors financially.

"The government says that Pakistani cinema is growing but the industry is only growing in middle-class areas and the middle-class doesn't watch Pakistani cinema," Choudhry Kamran, a film distributor, said.

"Because of Bollywood, we can't make new films. That's why we want the films to be banned."

Source: Al Jazeera