Irish cinemas are to screen Pakistani drama films, in a bid to showcase the diversity of the country.

The new policy comes as the Government is set to unveil its first new ‘film festival’ on Saturday, as part of its plan to boost tourism and the economy.

The initiative will be presented by Culture Minister James Reilly and include the release of the documentary Black Drama Movies and the release on YouTube of the latest films.

It is understood the programme will be streamed on the official channel of the Irish Broadcasting Corporation (IBC).

Mr Reilly has previously spoken about his desire to bring more Pakistani films to the country, including one in which a young Pakistani actress played a young Irish woman, and another in which the young Irish actress played an Irish husband.

He has also been promoting a campaign to increase tourism in Ireland and the wider region.

The films will be screened by the IBC and other independent Irish cinemases, including the RTE.

The programme will also include the premiere of two films about Irish people, the acclaimed Irish author, Mary McCarthy, and the Irish film director, Joe Wright.

The Irish Film Commission has also released the first three films from the Irish independent film series, The Irish Story and the documentary film The Irish Girl.

The programmes are to be shown in cinemas across the country on Saturday from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Mr Reilly said the programme would be a celebration of Irish diversity.

“The Irish story is one that’s been told to millions of people, Irish people are Irish people and we’re all Irish people,” he said.

“It’s been shown to thousands of different people in Ireland, it’s not just about Irishness.”

We’ve got to be proud of it and be proud to show it to our people, to our countrymen and women.

“Irish Independent