There should be no restrictions on borders: Nandita Das


KARACHI: Indian actor and director Nandita Das, who is visiting Pakistan after a gap of almost nine years, dismissed the ban on Pakistani talent in India saying that “There should be no restrictions on borders.”

“I am in Pakistan to break these barriers,” she remarked while speaking to media outlets at the first Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) which is taking place in Karachi from March 29 to April 1.

She added, “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.”

The filmmaker, who visited Pakistan last during the Kara Film Festival, is currently directing a film on author Sadaat Hasan Manto commenting that Manto is both Pakistani and Indian and a “true South Asian”. Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui will be essaying the role of Manto in the film.

“I’d love to bring Manto to Pakistan because he is also from here,” she said.

Das further said she’s fan of Pakistani music. “I’ve been listening to Pakistani singers for years now and I think it’s very precious.”

Later in the day, Das also attended the film premiere of the Sanam Saeed, Aamina Sheikh, and Adnan Malik starrer Cake. The premiere was held as part of the event and featured prominent personalities from the entertainment industry.

Nandita Das with the cast of Cake: Sanam Saeed, Adnan Malik, Aamina Sheikh

The PIFF is an initiative of the Karachi Film Society and is screening features, short films and documentaries from Pakistan and around the world. It aims to be the largest film festival in Pakistan and is providing a unique platform which promotes both Pakistani cinema and Pakistani filmmakers by showcasing their films to diverse international audiences. International filmmakers have also been invited to create an interactive space for an exchange of ideas and for an open dialogue.

Day one of the event featured Das along with Indian screenwriter Anjum Rajabali, actress Sajal Aly, musician Harsh Narayan, director Asim Raza, Asif Noorani, Abrar Ali Khan of Rockville and Farees Shah of Iflix.

Nandita Das, Sajal Aly

Day two of the event will feature Baahubali director SS Rajamouli, writer and director of Motorcycle Girl Adnan Sarwar, Atiqa Odho and Hindi Medium director Saket Chawdhari.

Rajamouli, earlier, had announced his visit to Pakistan for the festival and his excitement in a tweet which read, “Baahubali has given me opportunities to travel to a number of countries… The most exciting of them all is now, Pakistan. Thank you Pakistan International Film Festival, Karachi for the invite.”

The event will also host eight movie premieres including The Wishing Tree which features Shabana Azmi and Zaraab, the first Balochi language film to be premiered in Pakistan.