Duo preps Pakistani-Indian prod’n

Director, producer hope to create 'ongoing relationship'

NEW DELHI — London-based Pakistani film producer Sevy Ali and Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt are to work on a groundbreaking co-production set in Pakistan.

Taking advantage of a thaw in relations between the nuclear-ready rivals, the duo is joining forces to make a love story set against the backdrop of violence and turmoil that occurred during the Partition — when parts of India were carved up to create Pakistan in 1947.

Equal participants

Both sides will be putting money into the yet-to-be-named film and there will be a joint Indian and Pakistani cast and crew.

Filming will see an Indian director and a Pakistani producer working together on a common project.

The filmmakers are keeping mum about the budget and about when they plan to start the shoot, and are coy about who will take the main roles.

‘Break down barriers’

Bhatt is aiming high with the movie. “We hope this will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the two countries, to break down barriers and draw the Indian and Pakistani communities into a closer friendship,” he said.

Ali shares the same hope. “There (has been) no cooperation at all between the film communities from the two countries and despite the fact that Indian films are seen by billions of people every year, none has ever been made in Pakistan, or even in collaboration with Pakistani film makers,” he said. “This is a great pity, because the range of talent, both in front of and behind the cameras, is spectacular, diverse and relatively untapped. I am hoping that our film will not only take advantage of this talent pool, but will point the way to future international productions.”

Filmmakers from the two countries have cooperated on the quiet in the past in neutral territories like the U.K.

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