UAE should build film studios for South Asian filmmakers


Filmfare Middle East Awards 2022 in Dubai VIDEO/Life 707/Youtube

VIDEO/DB World/Youtube

after long time, a Pakistani film, it seemed, was to be released in India

theaters in Delhi and Punjab were ready for “The Legend of Maula Jatt

but the Dec 30 2022 release was cancelled after a threat from MNS party

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Ameya Khopkar tweeted:

“There are plans to release Pakistani actor Fawad Khan’s Pakistani film ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ in India. It is most infuriating that an Indian company is leading this plan. Following Raj* Saheb’s orders we will not let this film release anywhere in India.”

*Raj Thackeray, Bal Thackeray’s nephew, is a rogue politician like his uncle

late Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, now run by his son, is not any better

on Jan 6, 2023, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath was in Mumbai

he was there to tell film people that his state is opening up a Film City

he also offered subsidies if they shoot movies in his state

Muslim artists didn’t participat because Yogi is a Muslim hating Hindu

he has bulldozed many Muslims houses in his state

actor Suniel Shetty told Yogi:

“The hashtag that’s going on, boycott Bollywood, yeh ruk bhi sakta hai aapke kehne se (it can stop if you say). It is important to spread the word that we are doing good work. One rotten apple is everywhere, but just because of that you can’t call the whole industry rotten. Today people think that Bollywood is not a good place, but we have made such good films here. I was a part of one such film too, when I did Border. I have been a part of many good films. We have to come together and work towards how we can get rid of the Boycott Bollywood hashtag. We have to figure how we can stop this trend.”

“Today, if I am Suniel Shetty, it is because of UP and the fans from there. If you take the lead, this can definitely happen. It is of great importance that this stigma that is on us is gone. It is a very strong emotion for me. Dukh hota hai bolne me ke humaare pe yeh stigma hai (it pains me to tell that there is this stigma on us) because 99% of us are not like that. Hum din bhar drugs nahi lete, hum galat kaam nahi karte (We don’t do drugs whole day, we don’t do wrong work). Hum achhe kaam se jude hai (We are associated with good work). Bharat ko agar bahar ke desho se kisi ne joda hai toh woh hai humaara music (Bollywood music has connected India with the world), and our stories. So, Yogi ji if you take the lead and talk to our beloved Prime Minister about it, it will make a huge difference.”

Shetty could have said:

drugs’ harmful effect is limited to a few people in our film industry

whereas you and your BJP party hate is destroying our country

it is about that hate that Pakistani actress Mahira Khan said:

“I had the most amazing time working in India. I am still in touch with so many people and there’s a lot of love there. Unfortunately, we are easy targets, soft targets, whether it’s us here in Pakistan, whether it’s them there in India.” “Because we’re artists, and we’re connected by that thread of art, we actually get each other. So we’re trying to look out for each other, more than anything. Even now, we are so careful with what we write on social media. It’s not that we don’t talk to each other. It’s not that we don’t wish each other on our birthdays. It’s not that we don’t meet each other in different countries. It’s not that – it’s just that we are actually not just protecting ourselves but protecting each other.”

“Unfortunately, it’s politics, it’s not a personal thing. On both ends, until the time that scapegoats are needed, we will always be that.” “But let’s say that it gets better. Let’s say that there is someone in power who does not use us as easy targets. That would be lovely. Can you just imagine the collaboration? It would be lovely.”

Dubai has one film studio Dubai Studio City and some small centers

UAE’s population density is not too high and has plenty of space

it could built a couple of new studios for South Asian film production

creating a great opportunity for South Asian film makers

Dubai and Abu Dhabi can jointly or individually go into this project

it could bring the Indo-Pak film fraternity more closer

Indo-Pak artists who’re above communal/national hatred meet in UAE

they could produce films, TV dramas, etc. in joint production

this could give people from both countries a chance to meet often

the more interactions and intermingling can counter hostility and bigotry

that could help both Pakistan and India to better relations

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

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