'Ramchand' to get cross-border bow

Pakistani film first to debut in both countries

NEW DELHI -- "Ramchand Pakistani" will be the first Pakistani film to open simultaneously there and India when it premieres Aug. 1.

"With film ties opening up between both countries, it's indeed historic that 'Ramchand Pakistani' will be the first film to open on the same day in India and Pakistan," "Ramchand" director Mehreen Jabbar said Saturday on the sidelines of the 10th Osian's Cinefan Festival for Asian and Arab Cinema.

In November, football caper "Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal" became the first Indian film to have a day-and-date release in Pakistan.

"Ramchand" will be distributed in India by Mumbai-based Percept Pictures, which recently distributed the first Pakistani film officially released here, "Khuda Kay Liye" (In the Name of God).

Based on a real life incident, "Ramchand" stars Indian actress Nandita Das as a minority Hindu lower-caste woman living in Pakistan close to the Indian border, whose young son and husband are accidentally imprisoned by Indian authorities on suspicion of spying.

Pakistan has barred Indian films since the 1960s, but a recent thawing in relations has seen an increasing number of Bollywood titles released across the border, where pirated Indian films already enjoy popularity.