‘Ramchand Pakistani’ - a tale of two countries (Preview)

September 30th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Akshay KumarNew Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) Following the footsteps of fellow Pakistani director Shoaib Mansoor, Mehreen Jabbar too raises some complex issues in her directorial debut “Ramchand Pakistani”, releasing Thursday. Nandita Das, the only Indian actor in the movie, says it will have widespread appeal.While Mansoor’s “Khuda Kay Liye”, which was the first Pakistani film to be released in India, showed the trauma of liberal Muslims in Pakistan, “Ramchand Pakistani” talks about the trauma of people living in India-Pakistan border areas.

“This movie can’t be counted as a conventional Pakistani film just because it has been made in Pakistan. This is a distinctive film with a broad appeal. It reflects the tragedy of hundreds of innocent people of both the countries who languish in jail,” Nandita told IANS.

Apart from Nandita, “Ramchand Pakistani” stars Pakistani actors Rashid Farooqui, Noman Ijaz, Maria Wasti, Farooq Pario, Navaid Jabbar and Syed Fazal Hussain.

The film will be released in India by Percept Picture Company (PPC) who also released Mansoor’s “Khuda Kay Liye”.

The film shows how an accidental crossing of the India-Pakistan border at a time of war-like tension dramatically changes the lives of a poor Pakistani Hindu ‘untouchable’ peasant family.

The narrative unfolds on two parallel tracks on either side of the border until they eventually intersect.

The film is inspired from a real-life story.

“The film is based on actual events. My father (Javed Jabbar) works a lot in the areas close to the desert. One day he came across a father-son duo who narrated their story to him. That is where we got the inspiration to make this film. I am sure it will reach out to audiences,” said director Mehreen Jabbar.

Made at a nominal budget of $650,000 (40 million Pakistani rupees or 30 million Indian rupees), it will release in India with around 40 prints vis-à-vis its release in Pakistan Aug 1 with a handful of just 15 prints.

The movie’s collections suffered in Pakistan due to the Akshay Kumar starrer “Singh is Kinng” that released the following week in the country.

Before its commercial release, “Ramchand Pakistani” travelled to different film festivals like Tribeca Film Festival and Seattle International Film Festival. It bagged kudos for acting, script and direction.

It has also been chosen to be screened at the Rhode August 2008 Island International Film Festival and South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) in New York this year.

In India, the film was showcased at the 10th Osian’s-Cinefan Film Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema where it won and shared the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) award with Palestinian film “Salt Of The Sea”.

“Ramchand Paksitani” will be released the same day as two big commercial Indian films - Sanjay Gadhvi’s action thriller “Kidnap” and Abhishek Bachchan-starrer action fantasy “Drona”.

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