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United Kingdom, United Kingdom
The promotion of cultural activities for furthering peace is a good thing but the governments of both Pakistan and India should resolve the issue of Kashmir. The settlement of this issue would ensure lasting peace.
This was stated by Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt while talking to journalists after a panel discussion organised at the World Performing Arts Festival being held at the Alhamra Cultural Complex in Lahore on Monday. The other celebrities who took part in the discussion included Usman Peerzada, Shahzad Rafique, Amjad Islam Amjad, Salman Shahid, Meera and Samina Peerzada.
Mahesh speaking to newsmen slammed the domination of the US in the world and said that Pakistan and India should join hands against the nefarious designs of the super power. "Before partition it was the British who were exploiting us and creating division among us. Now that role has been taken over by US," he said.
Earlier, after the inputs by showbiz personalities, Mahesh said that Pakistani film industry could be at the threshold of a revolution since its crisis had taken it to the lowest ebb. "The bomb that you are fearing has already fallen. I have seen the posters of crude productions in Laxmi Chowk.
"There is creative bankruptcy in Bollywood and that is why joint productions are needed. It is creativity and innovation that leads the market. We are slightly better than the industry here because Bollywood was able to reinvent itself and managed to survive the onslaught of VCR and DVD. Piracy we cannot fight, therefore we have to think of new innovations to keep the cinema alive.
"The tragedy with you is that you do not know how to use your talent. We know how to make the best use of good talent. For example, I used your voice for two songs in the film 'Murder' and these two songs have changed the trend of the Indian music industry. If we can make use of your talent you too can do it here," he said.
Replying to a statement about there being no film academy here in Pakistan to polish young talent, Mahesh said he himself was also not formally educated in filmmaking. "I learnt to make films by making them. My first four films were flops. In fact the first nine years were a disaster. But then I learnt and was able to present many hits."
Shahzad Rafique, stressing on joint productions, said that Indian films screening in Pakistan would make the environment more competitive.
Samina slammed the government for not having a positive attitude towards the film industry. But Usman pointed out that now things had changed as the present government has waived entertainment tax on films. He lamented that experimental cinema could not be born in Pakistan. He said that even those who studied film abroad did not enter the industry on their return. "Take for example TV producer Kunwar Aftab. He studied filmmaking abroad. He made only one film and then turned to TV.Salman, who has studied filmmaking for four years in Moscow but has not made any movie, blamed the producers for crude productions. "The artistes know what the people want but it the producers who create problems," he maintained.