No constraints from govt in promoting films in Asia: Filmmakers

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Panaji, Jun 26 (UNI) A galaxy of people from the film fraternity, attending the ongoing four-day South Asian Film Festival (SAFF) here today, said they are not facing any ''constraint'' from the Indian government in promoting their films in South Asia.

''In fact, we really enjoy a lot of freedom of speech and expression and are proud to be in India. We get all the encouragement from the government for promoting Indian films abroad,'' veteran film producer Randhir Kapoor told mediapersons.

Joining with Randhir, film producer/director Pooja Bhatt said she, along with her father Mahesh Bhatt, was in fact on a mission to identify the talent in neighbouring countries like Pakistan, for encouraging them in India.

''Our going abroad does not be mistaken as Indians trying to teach others, but trying to learn and share our experiences in the art of filmmaking for mutual benefit,'' Ms Bhatt said.

She said she had decided to engage a Pakistani actress for her future film to be screened in India. This would further break the barriers between the two nations.

Veteran film director Madhur Bhandarkar and actress Sonal Chauhan stoutly objected to mediapersons referring to Hindi cinema as ''Bollywood'', saying the objective of the SAFF was to promote even regional films along with the Hindi films.

''There may be budget constraints preventing the industry from growing in South Asia, where the talent is abundant. This could be bridged through co-production arrangements,'' the filmmakers and actors said in unison.

They also pleaded with the Goa government to offer tax benefits to the moviemakers in Marathi and Konkani to encourage talent.

Ms Bhatt even offered her services, both as director and actress to film Marathi/Konkani cinema and said, ''Directing in an unknown language is much more difficult than acting in that language.'' UNI BM SR SW RK1615

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