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A little bit of India in Afghanistan

January 14, 2004 08:00 IST

Mukul Anand had made Afghanistan popular in his film Khuda Gawah, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi.

Hashmat KhanNow, Indian film technicians will fly to Afghanistan to shoot for Spring Of Hope, the first ever Indo-Afghan joint production, this March. The film has an all-Afghan cast and Indian crew, and its post-production will be completed in Mumbai.

Hashmat Khan, director, producer and actor of Spring Of Hope, says, "This will be the first commercial film to be shot in Afghanistan after the Taliban era. I hope it encourages other Indian film producers to shoot their films in Afghanistan in future."

Khan, an Afghan-born Indian citizen, is now based in Kabul. He had earlier worked in Hindi films like Pahunche Hue Log, Sach, Bandh Darwaza and Krishna Avtar. He also assisted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt before launching his own company, Rahimi Films International. Under his company, he directed three Persian films: Sitara, Dear Afghanistan and Roya.

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"I plan to launch another film, Prem Dwand (Conflict of Love), very soon with big Indian actors. I will announce the details after I get a written confirmation from the actors. So far, they have verbally agreed to do the film," he says.

Asked where he plans to shoot his film in Afghanistan, Khan says, "It will be shot in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad." He assures that the situation in Afghanistan is limping back to normalcy and there is no danger to the technicians.

The Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) Spring Of Hope "is a love story," says Khan. "The film shows how important it is to have unity among the different tribes of Afghanistan. The whole purpose of making this film is to make Afghan people realise that unity is very important for their country to prosper. If I can achieve 10 per cent of my objective, my life would be worth living."

Indian films enjoy a good run in Afghanistan, says Khan, "Before I left Afghanistan, two Sunny Deol films, Champion and The Hero, were running in the theatres. They have done very well. People have really liked the action scenes in these films."

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Syed Firdaus Ashraf