{ Page-Title / Story-Title }


Guess who had a great time in Pakistan?  

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar says he had a memorable time in the country


Our Correspondent

Politics and politicians may have a different equation with Pakistan. Filmmakers obviously have another kind of relationship. Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar recently visited Lahore to be honoured in Pakistan for his contribution to Indian cinema. He was reportedly accompanied by actor Om Puri. Bhandarkar says: "I was advised by everyone close to me not to go, but I was adamant. Art and cinema have no borders. Look at Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which is so popular in Pakistan."

The filmmaker adds: "I was given the Rafi Peer Memorial Award, which is considered a big honour in Pakistan. They wanted to honour me for my hard-hitting subjects and my contribution to women's empowerment through my films." 

Interestingly, Madhur's latest film, Calendar Girls, was banned in Pakistan. His response? "Yes, unfortunately Calendar Girls was banned, but all my other films, though hard hitting and controversial, have been shown in Pakistan. In fact Chandni Bar was screened when I received the award in Lahore on December 18." 

The award was presented to Bhandarkar by veteran Pakistani actress Zeba Ali, who Bhandarkar describes as the Waheeda Rehman of Pakistan. Speaking about his experience, he adds: "It was an amazing experience. Once we were on the other side of the border, their hospitality took over. The people, food and culture was all so warm and welcoming. I had a memorable time for two days. They love Bollywood films so much in Pakistan."