The very first edition of the Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) was held in Karachi on March 29. The event brought together luminaries belonging to the Indian and Pakistani film industry under one roof despite years’ long instability between the two countries.The event being first of its kind saw some 22 artists and filmmakers from India, including Nandita Das and critically acclaimed filmmaker S.S.Rajamouli, setting foot on Pakistani soil after an extensive gap of many years.
With the ban on Pakistani artists working in Bollywood for quite some time now, Nandita in a recent interview dismissed the ban and stated, “There should be no restrictions on borders.” She further went on to say, “I am in Pakistan to break these barriers. We are neighbours, friends and share similar food, language and culture so it’s bizarre that restrictions are placed on us visiting the other country or viewing their works.”
— PIFF (@PIFF_Festival) April 1, 2018
The filmmaker, who visited Pakistan last during the Kara Film Festival in 2009, is currently directing a film on author Manto. According to Nandita, Manto is both Pakistani and Indian and a “true South Asian.” She added, “I would love to bring Manto to Pakistan because he is also from here.”
The first panel discussion during the fourth and final day of PIFF today brought the topic ‘Films for Change: Socially Motivated Content in South Asian film’ in discourse, which had Indian filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, Pakistani director Jami, Nishtha Jain, drama producer Momina Duraid , ace scriptwriter Haseena Moin and various other celebrities as panellists.