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Javed Sheikh in Indian films

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    Javed Sheikh in Indian films

    Actor turns filmmaker

    Posted online: Friday, June 03, 2005 at 0000 hours IST

    Javed Sheikh is one of those rare Pakistani filmmakers whose work has transcended local boundaries and crossed over to larger audiences abroad. His last film, Yeh Dil Aapka Hua, was a big hit in Pakistan and made waves on the DVD circuit overseas too. Currently, he is shooting for his next project, Khule Aasman Ke Niche in Bulgaria. Recently, he was in India in the capacity of an actor where he shot for John Matthew Matthanís as yet untitled film, starring Ajay Devgan and Shahid Kapur. Excerpts...

    Are you enjoying your stay in India?
    This isnít my first visit to India. I have been here several times earlier. I have many friends here and they pamper me a lot everytime I drop in. Today, I have come to consider India as my home away from home.

    How was it working with John Matthew Matthan?
    It is a privilege for me to work in an Indian film. I had liked Sarfarosh immensely and Iím glad that Iím working with such a talented person. What I like about him is that he is a dedicated, passsionate individual. I am a director myself and have picked quite a few points from watching him work.

    What is your role in the film?
    Iím playing Shahid Kapurís father in the film. However John has forbidden everybody to talk about the film so I canít elaborate further. All I can say is that it is one of the most interesting roles in my career, something that I havenít done before. Both Shahid and Ajay are highly talented individuals and are popular figures in Pakistan. It was a nice experience interacting with them and I would like more such opportunities to come my way.

    Have you got any other Indian film on hand?

    Yes, I am also doing a role in a film called Rafta Rafta directed by Raj Sharma. In fact, I was shooting for the film some days ago in London and have just returned.

    Donít you find it unfair that Pakistanis are allowed to work in Indian films but your government doesnít allow our films to screen in Pakistan?

    It is indeed a sad state of affairs. However, a beginning has been made. K Asifís classic Mughale-e-Azam will soon be released in Pakistan and Iím sure its entry will open doors for others also.

    It has been said that Pakistani filmmakers are apprehensive that Indian films will eat away into their market...

    (Cuts in) Thatís the biggest joke of the year. Thanks to video pirates, Pakistanis get to see Indian films two days before their release in India. Competition is always a good thing as it spurs the other players to come up with better products. Today, Pakistani theatres have gone to the dogs. If Indian films are released legally there, then they too will get a facelift. The Indians will benefit from a huge untapped market. Also, legalising things will in effect stop piracy. It is a win-win situation for everybody and both our governments should work towards implementing it as soon as possible.