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Mumbai film delegation leaves for Pakistan

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 24 (UNI) Close on the heels of release of 'Mughal-e-Azam'' in Pakistan, a delegation of prominent film personalities left for the neighbouring country for the premiere of Akbar Khan's ''Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story'', this week.

During the Indo-Pak war in 1965, the Pakistani government banned commercial releases of all Indian films. '' Mughal-e-Azam'' was released earlier this week and now ''Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story'' will hit the Pakistani screens on April 28.

Expecting a new film-exchange friendship, the delegation aims to help further strengthen ties between the two nations. ''Love and peace, synonymous with the Taj, will set the trend for Hindi cinema entering Pakistan,'' said an elated Akbar Khan.

Accompanying him on the trip were personalities like filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, President of the Association of Motion Pictures and Television Programme Producers (AMPTPP) Pahlaj Nihalani, the film's lead-actor Zulfikar Syed, Shawar Ali, trade editor Vikas Mohan, director Shashi Ranjan, exhibitor Yusuf Lakdawala, Shyam Shroff of Shringar Films, Akbar Khan's wife Mariam Khan, sister Dilshad Sheikh, brothers Feroz, Sameer and Sanjay Khan with his wife Zarine, nephew Fardeen Khan and wife Natasha.

The entourage first flew to Delhi, where they will be joined by Minister for Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni, actor-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha and the film's lead-actress Sonya Jehan (grand-daughter of the famous Pakistani singer Noorjehan) on their way to Lahore.

Actresses Rekha, Manisha Koirala and Kim Sharma are scheduled to follow the delegation in a day from Mumbai, while Rakesh and Hrithik Roshan could not make it due to an untimely demise in their family.

''Akbar Khan, along with his Pakistan-based distributor Satish Anand (Eveready Pictures), has already drawn out an elaborate strategy for the film's distribution and release in Pakistan with 25 prints to start with.

Mammoth hoardings and posters of the film have been put across the country and the Pakistan media has been splashed with advertisements and features on the release of the film and welcoming the delegation,'' said Khan's public relations officer Dale Bhagwagar.

''Apart from two grand premieres on April 26 and 27 in Lahore and Karachi respectively, the delegation is also hopeful of holding a special screening of the film for President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad, later this week,'' he added.

Made on a mammoth scale, 'Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story' tries to recreate the Mughal era through opulent sets, royal costumes and authentic jewellery. The film narrates an age-old story of love between emperor Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

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