A week-long Indian film festival is on in Kazakhstan's capital Astana where Bollywood hits like Taare Zameen Par, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Baghbaan are being screened.
The festival was inaugurated at the reputed Kino Park cinema hall in Astana earlier this week by Indian Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar and Chairman of Committee on Culture Iliyas Kozybaev.
Speaking at the inauguration, Sajjanhar referred to the huge popularity of Bollywood films among the Kazakhs."If Raj Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty are the icons and legends of Indian films loved by the people of Kazakhstan from the 50s to the 80s, in current times the number of icons has grown much larger and ranges from Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan to Aishwarya Rai and Kareena Kapoor," he said.
Kozybaev referred to the strong, dynamic and rapidly expanding bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan and said the festival will go a long way in further strengthening understanding and expanding people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
A large audience including ambassadors of Germany, France, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, OSCE, UN, Latvia and Palestine, diplomatic representatives from USA, Finland, Korea and officials of several public and private sector organizations, senior government personnel, students, and lovers of Indian art and culture attended the inauguration.
The crowd was so huge that another neighbouring cinema theatre had to be opened to accommodate them and show another film, an embassy statement said.