Bollywood awaits first Pakistani film in India after 40 yrs

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Mumbai, Apr 2 (UNI) Bollywood is keenly awaiting ''Khuda Ke Liye'', the first Pakistani film being released in India 'officially' after a gap of 40 years.

''Khuda ke liye'' is all set to hit theatres across the country this Friday.

After screening of Indian films was banned in Pakistan in 1968, five Indian films have been officially released there, which include ''Mughal-e-Azam'', ''Taj Mahal'', ''Welcome'', ''Race'' and ''Taare Zammen Par''.

''Khuda ke liye'' is based on the backdrop of circumstances post the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. The cast includes veteran Bollywood actor Nasiruddin Shah, who is said to have worked for free in the film.

Completed in 2006 with a mere 45 days of shooting, the film was a commercial success in Pakistan, UK and other countries.

It has won a couple of awards at the international film festivals and was also acclaimed in the India International Film festival in Goa last year.

Veteran film-maker Yash Chopra has expressed hope that the new Pakistani government would completely lift the ban on the release of Indian films in Pakistan. This would not only strengthen bilateral cultural relations, but add a new dimension to the film industry in the Indian sub-continent, he added.

Yash Chopra, who had made 'Veer Zara', a love story between two citizens of India and Pakistan three years ago, lamented that only five Indian films have been 'officially' released in Pakistan so far.

While India produces over 800 films every year, the Lahore- based Pakistani film industry, also known as 'Lollywood', produces less that 100 films a year, film industry sources here said.

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