He is known for discovering new talents in singing and acting from across the border, but premiering his latest film
in Lahore is a dream come true for producer Mahesh Bhatt.
"When I first went to Pakistan, I had dreamed of making a film which will premier in Pakistan. It seemed a ridiculous dream at that time given the difficult situations. So, this premier is a like a dream which has come true for me," Mahesh Bhatt told PTI.
The film, which is co-produced by Pakistan's Suhail Khan will open to a gala premier in Lahore's Gulistan studio with the entire star cast of the film on May 13th.
On his part, Bhatt believes that mutual trust is the only way for the two countries to prosper and the beginning has already been made through creative exchange. He, however, refuses to take the entire credit for it saying, "It is a triumph of all those sane people who have refused to gravitate towards the philosophy of hatred."
When asked about the fear of Pakistani film producers and directors that Indian film industry is trying to take over Pakistani film industry, Bhatt says,"I think the fear of Pakistani film industry is very legitimate. Indian filmmakers need to behave more sensibly and responsibly. The audio-visual medium is too powerful to be in the hands of few people. They have every right to tell their story. We can not monopolise," he cautions.
According to him the solution lies in the equal exchange of ideas and films.
"Exhibition sector in Pakistan has come back to life and it is limping back to normalcy. But the problem is that they only want to show Indian films so what is going to happen to a Pakistani light boy," Mahesh Bhatt says adding that
"If the creative exchange does not translate into wealth for Pakistan, it will remain an unfair exchange."
He also fears that the monopolisation by Indian entertainment industry may force Pakistani producers and directors to form a lobby against Indian films as some factions are very angry with the intrusion of Indian cinema there.
He says, "My film is a co production. The producer will take all the money that is generated by the film there and invest it in a co production again,"
Bhatt says he will continue to bring both countries together, "When I started my efforts, my well wishers had cautioned me that I will be looked upon as a traitor for extending social ties with the so called enemy territory, but I reject that mindset." he says.
also has a song by Pakistani singer Kamaran, which is already topping music charts. Bhatt camp's last film
featuring their blue eyed boy Emraan Hashmi was a huge hit in Pakistan last time.
The visit for the premier of
will see some more cross-border productions, he promises.
"We are planning to announce a co production in Pakistan. In fact, it should not necessarily mean Hind or Urdu film. Punjabi films are immensely popular there. So we may make a Punjabi film which will have 70 per cent artists and technicians from Pakistan and 30 per cent from India," he says.