03 July 2016
New Delhi: National Award winning filmmaker Sudhir Mishra feels if India and Pakistan want to improve their relationship both politically and culturally, then it is important that people from both sides should address various issues that they have with each other.
Mishra, best known for his films like "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi", "Dharavi"Aand "Chameli", was here on Saturday to attend the 7th Jagran Film Festival.
During a panel discussion, which was aimed at how cinema can help people of India and Pakistan bridge the cultural gap between them, he said: "Even we people remain a bit confused about what impact does cinema has on people. Often people belonging to the industry say that we can never have a negative impact on the society.
"But it's important to have these conversations between the two nations - India and Pakistan - and to share stories through cinema with each other. The way of storytelling is same on both the sides."
Mishra said that he is never seen as a foreigner when he travels to Pakistan.
"I can speak Urdu, so when I go to a shop in Karachi, the shopkeeper doesn't get to know whether I'm from their country or from India. There are a lot of tensions between the two nations that we don't even try to address.
"Indian and Pakistani stories are very much similar, especially in the north Indian context. So I feel this exchange of stories between the two sides is very important. And this should not stop," he said.
Apart from Mishra, the panel also included director Bejoy Nambiar, veteran Pakistani actor-director Khalid Ahmed and Pakistani director Sabiha Sumar.
Asked why there isn't enough exchange of film ideas between India and Pakistan, Nambiar said: "I think the very impact that the shows on Zindagi channel had and how it resonated with the Indian audience - that itself showcases that there is so much scope for this exchange to happen.
"Our (Indian and Pakistani) stories resonate well with each other. I am sure with the help of internet; we will definitely get to see more of Pakistani cinema in coming years.
The "Shaitan" fame director also pointed out that the Pakistani TV industry has evolved as their writers feel more empowered. He said in India, TV writers don't get enough limelight.
"From the little conversations that I have had with Pakistani directors, what I have seen is that they have really empowered their writers in the television dramas. If you ask them names they will all know who has written what. Whereas in India we don't know who has written this show and who has directed it," Nambiar said.
"Television in India works on a concept note and broad idea of how this story is going to progress. In India, producers decide -- based on TRPs -- how many episodes a show is going to have. In Pakistan the writers decide the same," he added.
The five-day Delhi leg of the Jagran Film Festival, which started here at the Siri Fort Auditorium on Sunday, will next showcase films like "Aligarh", "Airlift", "Natsamrat", "Talvar" and "Sarbjit" among others.
After its Delhi leg, which will conclude on July 5, the festival will travel to different cities like Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varansi, Agra, Meerut, Dehradun, Hisar, Ludhiana, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Raipur, Indore, and Bhopal. The final leg of the festival will take place in Mumbai.