Bollywood copying us: Lollywood

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"Why do people think that we've been copying Bollywood films. Amitabh
Bachchan's Baghban is copied from our film Insaniyat , which was a
blockbuster 30 years ago," says Mubasher Lucman, a filmmaker who is
part of the Pakistani delegation participating in FICCI's Frames

(From left to right) Mubasher Lucman Muhammad Ali Tipu and Shahbaz

Lucman also insists that Chalte Chalte was a direct lift of Aaina
(Pakistani film), which in turn was a re-created Aandhi . "Both the
film industries across the borders tend to copy each other. The only
difference is that Indian re-productions are more glossy," adds
Lucman. In tune with the goingons in Bollywood, members of the 18-
member delegation rattle-off names of directors, lesser known actors
and technicians. "It's easy for us to keep track because not only do
we get all the channels, we also get Doordarshan," says Muhammad Ali
Tipu, an exhibitor.

Like Bollywood, Lollywood (Pakistani film industry) has seen a
drastic downslide in revenues in the last three years. The number of
releases has come down to 35 a year from 60 in the year 1985-
86. "Families have stopped going to theatres to watch films, they
either prefer pirated versions of Bollywood films or soaps on cable
TV. We've been badly hit, just like Bollywood," believes producer
Shahbaz Ali, whose punjabi film Choodiyan , was one of Lollywood's
last big films.

The deputation believes that working together just makes "good
business sense". "It's common knowledge that Indian filmmakers don't
want to lose the crores to piracy every year while we want to make
bigger films in collaborations with Bollywood. Once people have
stopped talking about working together for goodwill, the real
business would start," says Tipu.

Many delegates have met with the likes of Dharmendra, Sunny Deol,
Yash Chopra and Mahesh Bhatt, many of whom are keen on co-
productions. After all, as Lucman says — "At the end of the day, it's
business and no one really cares about what the politicians are
Posted 18 Mar 2004

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