Manisha for joint Pakistan, India film ventures
By Irfan Ghauri
ISLAMABAD: Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala has called for joint ventures between the Pakistani and Indian film industries.
“I am working on just such a project with my Pakistani colleagues,” she said while talking to reporters on Sunday at Akram Zaki’s residence. “There was a need for more films that promote friendship between the two neighboring countries and I strongly opposed films that promoted hatred,” Manisha, who was in Pakistan for the premiere of Akbar Khan’s Taj Mahal, said. Manisha has already learned the ropes of filmmaking in New York and plans to direct her first film soon. “As an actress and a director, I would love to produce a film in collaboration with the Pakistani film industry, and am already in negotiation with some concerned people here,” she said.
However, she refusing to name who she was negotiating with. Manisha, who has worked in over 60 films, has been lying low, as far as films are concerned, in Bollywood for the last few years. Her venture into production with ‘Paisa Vasool’ two years ago turned out to be a box-office disaster. She was last seen playing a small part in Akbar Khan’s Taj Mahal, which was also a flop across the border, but has now become the second Indian movie to be screened in Pakistan in the last forty years.
Terming the screening of Indian films in Pakistan as a “first step in the right direction,” she said that there was still a long way to go. She said that Pakistani films being screened in Indian cinemas would not only bring the people of the two countries closer together, but would also help the industry financially and would curb the menace of piracy.
She said that it would be impossible to reverse the ongoing people-to-people contact because the people of the subcontinent backed it. “Nusrat Fateh Ali, Khan, Ghulam Ali, and Mehdi Hasan are my favorite singers,” she said, adding that she had been watching the Pakistani drama serials for a long time. However, she never had a chance to see a Pakistani film even though she had met some of the Pakistani film stars in person. Manisha also thanked the people of Pakistan for the hospitality they had shown her.