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Costliest movie in the country's history is to be released today.

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    Costliest movie in the country's history is to be released today.

    Costliest movie being released today

    By Zafar Samdani

    LAHORE, July 18: The film industry of Pakistan is all abuzz with excitement and expectations as actor director Jawed Sheikh's Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa, claimed to be the costliest movie in the country's history, is to be released on Friday.

    A new movie is churned out practically every week by the industry and its arrival and departure is a matter of routine. But Sheikh's film has created unprecedented pre-release hype and the industry is looking towards its performance at the box office because of the wide-ranging implications its fate carries.

    The movie was shot entirely on locations in Spain and Switzerland, locales natural to the script, which is woven around two Pakistani families living in Spain and a Pakistani painter, who goes to Switzerland for an exhibition of her work.

    Taking advantage of the locale and making the movie more relevant to its Spanish environments, Sheikh has one of the characters playing a bullfighter. Other characters are business people settled abroad. The main cast is Sana, Moammar Rana, Salim Sheikh, Babar Ali, Veena Malik and Ismail Tara. Sheikh himself plays a business magnet, playing the elder brother of one of the young men involved in a romantic triangle.

    Music is by Amjad Bobby while script is based on a story by Babar Kashmiri with screenplay from Sherry Malik. The recording of music and processing and printing of the movie was done abroad. A feature of the movie is association of Spanish company 4U2 that provided production services for Hollywood blockbuster The Mummy Returns.

    Top producer and second generation filmmaker Shehzad Gul, who has such milestone movies to his name as Ghar Kab Aoo Ge and Chalo Ishq Larain, feels that Yeh Dil could generate new forces in the industry and attract new investment and talent for Pakistan's cinema. He feels that its success would "encourage a new breed of investors, artistes and technicians who wish to join the film industry but were unsure of its conditions and atmosphere."

    Movie magnet Satish Anand has similar views and feels that Yeh Dil could take Pakistani films to the doorstep of a new opening. The movie has the potential to make a great impact on Pakistani cinema, he says.

    Many other members of the industry feel that Yeh Dil could prove instrumental in winning a market for Pakistani films abroad. The film is scheduled for international release inAugust. It was to be released earlier but the director's yen for achievable perfection and decision to avoid a clash with World Cup Football caused a change of release plan.

    Not only people associated with the industry but many other professionals from related fields are also looking forward to the film. Senior Foreign Office official Salah ud Din Choudhry declares Yeh Dil not only an "excellent movie' but "by far the best Pakistani production he had seen in many, many years."

    Puppeteer and writer Qaiser Farooq, also a member of the Censor Board, was similarly impressed with the film's content and technical values. He called it a "quality movie that was highly welcome as one could see it with all the members of the family - something that is no more possible in most films."

    Sheikh himself is confident about the movie and says his target is taking the Pakistan film industry to international standards.

    All people are equal, but some are more equal than others. We call these "corporations."

    So how much did it cost?