Pic is one of only 20 foreign films allowed in the country

LONDON — China has agreed to a local release for “My Name Is Khan,” the first Indian movie to be released theatrically in the country for eight years.

China is very protective of its domestic film industry and allows just 20 foreign films to be imported each year. The last Indian film to be release in China was the Oscar-nommed “Lagaan,” which was released in 2002.

Helmer Karan Johar’s “My Name Is Khan,” which stars Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, opens Nov. 30 in Beijing.

Pic was produced by Fox Searchlight, Fox Star Studios, Imagenation Abu Dhabi, Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Ent.

The film has grossed more than $41 million worldwide, including more than $4 million in the U.S.

Indian films were popular in China in the 1940s and 50s, with such pics as “Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani” (1946), “Awaara” (1951) and “Do Bigha Zameen” (1953) scoring at the box office. But in 1959, India granted asylum to the Dalai Lama and the relationship between the two countries deteriorated, culminating in a war over a disputed border in 1962. Indian film imports were one of the casualties of the conflict.

In recent years, relations have thawed and 2009 Indian pic “Chandni Chowk to China” was extensively shot in China.

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