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Our films, their screens

Mahesh Bhatt has added another feather to his cap. His production Awarapan was released in Pakistan on Friday. Diganta Guha speaks to the director.
None | By Diganta Guha, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2007 04:23 PM IST

Mahesh Bhatt has added another feather to his cap. His production Awarapan, directed by Mohit Suri, toplining Emraan Hashmi, Shreya Saran and Ashutosh Rana, was released in Pakistan on Friday. He finds the response overwhelming.

"The film is running to full houses in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Hyderabad. There was no publicity, except one insertion in a newspaper," informs Bhatt.

Past to present
Earlier releases in Pakistan include the coloured version of Mughal-e-Azam and Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal in 2006. Now, Ammtoje Maan's Kaafila, which features Pakistani actress Sana Nawaz with Sunny Deol, may also release there.

Bhatt has earlier co-pro duced Nazar and The Killer with Pakistani producers. That seems to have made way for Awarapan in Pakistan.

Bhatt considers this to be a triumph. "The NDA was in power. I took the initiative to release films in Pakistan at a time when any over-friendly attitude towards them was considered an act of trea son," he asserts.Bhatt sees no reason to get carried away, despite the change in attitude in Pakistan.

Those Pak connections
"Any film that only shows the Indian point of view on a subject or is shot entirely in India will not be released in Pakistan. If at all they are, it'll be in the foreign films category. This is the ruling of the Federal Censor Board of Pakistan," states Bhatt.

Besides being co-produced by a Pakistani national, Awarapan has another Pakistan link Saran plays a Pakistani.

Bhatt concludes, "The Pakistani Establishment should open its doors to our films that will lead to competition for their films. It will encourage them to make better movies."

Love thy neighbour
Naam (1986): It deals with NRIs and Pakistanis staying away from home.
Main Hoon Naa (2004): The film talks about peace between the two countries.
Veer-Zara (2004): This was a love story between an IAF officer and a Pakistani girl.
Deewar-Let's Bring Our Heroes Home (2004): This was a film on POWs without any anti-Pakistan dialogue.
Namastey London (2007): The film emphasises on Indians and Pakistanis staying in London and the friendship between an Indian and a Pakistani family.

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