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Nandita Das' first Pak film screens at Osian's

The acclaimed actress' film Ramchand Pakistani is about an eight-year-old Hindu boy from Pakistan who accidentally crosses over into India. The film is primarily an Urdu film and Nandita is the only non-Pakistani actor in it.
By Radhika Bhirani | IANS, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2008 08:51 PM IST

Critically acclaimed actress Nandita Das is upbeat about her first Pakistani film that premieres at the ongoing Osian's-Cinefan film festival and hopes many more Indian and Pakistani actors work together in future.

"I won't call this my first Pakistani venture as I have done a Pakistani music video before which is in fact my only music video till date," Nandita told IANS in an interview.

Ramchand Pakistani is about an eight-year-old Hindu boy from Pakistan who accidentally crosses over into India. His father also follows him and both are imprisoned for five years.

Nandita plays Champa, the eight-year-old's mother, who is suddenly left alone.

"I did this film because it spoke of an issue. Accidental border crossing happens and this film talks heavily about the emotions that the mother goes through and how hard she tries to come to terms with being alone. Also, the director Mehreen Jabbar is a close friend of mine," she said.

Ramchand Pakistani is primarily an Urdu film and Nandita is the only non-Pakistani actor in a star cast comprising well-known Pakistani TV and stage personalities like Rashid Farooqi, Maria Wasti and Farooq Pario.

"I have done films in 10 different languages including four in Tamil. It is interesting that India itself is so diverse in terms of languages that when you go out of the country, you think of it being the same.

"Besides, for most of the time in the film I was wearing a ghaghra (long skirt) and choli (top) with white plastic bangles till my arm just the way it is done in Rajasthan. I wore a similar look for my Hindi film Bawander sometime back. So you really can't say what's yours and what isn't. It was a really interesting experience," Nandita explained.

The film premieres at the 10th Osian's-Cinefan Film Festival of Asian and Arab cinema Saturday.

Nandita, who has just finished filming her debut directorial venture Firaaq, is all for more joint India-Pakistan film collaborations.

She said: "Indian and Pakistani artists should work in each other's films more often. It is just a mental barrier about having different film industries which needs to be removed."

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