On the first day of the on-going Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) 2018, Bollywood met Lollywood and discussed the prospects of collaborations, entertainment being the prime victim of political unrest, and the Indian love for Pakistan. This, along with the special screening of, now released, Pakistani film Cake, and one other panel discussion occupied the Day One schedule of the event.
The highlight of the day was the first panel discussion that took place on the topic of “Collaborations across borders: Possibilities and Future Direction.” With names like, Nandita Das, Sajal Ali, Rashid Khwaja, Vishal Bhardwaj, Asim Raza, Anjum Rajabali, and musician Harsh Narayan, the star discussion was moderated by Asif Noorani.
While Asim Raza welcomed the guests and said he was humbled to be on the panel and wished for peace and collaboration between both the countries, Vishal Bhardwaj talked about the love he gets in Pakistan and how he hoped that the border between the two countries would cease to exist just like the Berlin Wall in Germany. He also revealed that he is a big fan of Mehdi Hassan and Pakistani drama Dhoop Kinaray and of Marina Khan specially, who he said he had met in his 2006 visit to Pakistan on special request.
Acclaimed Indian actor and director, Nandita Das in her talk said, “I have come here so often that back in India people call me anti-national.” She said she loved Pakistan, and that she wanted to shoot her film Manto here, and even had the locations finalised too, but the political scene came in way.
Sajal Ali talked about her debut film, Mom, and that how disappointed she was over not being able to own or promote her film in India because of the political situation. Similarly, she also revealed that she wanted to go to India on the recent demise of her co-actor in Mom, Sri Devi, but couldn’t acquire the visa, wishing that more love, instead of hate, would spread between two countries.
Ace film producer, Rashid Khawaja shed light on the fact that Pakistan is the third largest Bollywood market, and required the latter’s focus of the same scale. ‘We are a growing market that will get only bigger with time, Bollywood’s understanding of this fact will be a win-win for both countries,” he said further.
Indian musician Harsh Narayan in his bit proposed the idea of having a ‘South Asian Film Committee’ for better communication between the countries of the region.
Besides the panel discussion, a special screening for Amina Sheikh, Sanam Saeed, and Adnan Malik starer Pakistani film, Cake, was organised, where in attendance were people like Vinay Pathak, Saket Chaudhry, Nandita Das and Indian film director Onir.
As per Galaxy Lollywood’s personal interaction with the names above, they all liked Cake for its realism and performances.
The second panel discussion of the day was on the topic of, “Innovation on Screen: Digital Dimensions,” and featured Abrar Ali Khan of Rockville, Farees Shah of iflix with Tazeen Hussain as the moderator.
There was also a dinner organised at Karachi’s Cafe Aylanto afterwards, where along with the Indian delegation, Governor Sindh, Mr. Muhammad Zubair was also present, along with our own film names including, Ali Rehman Khan, Hareem Farooq, and Imran Kazmi.
So that was all from Day One people, stay tuned for more coverage on the event.
On-field reporting by: Momin Ali Munshi