An Indian film will be released officially Friday in Pakistan, a first for two countries that have banned each other's films for more than three decades.
Mumbai-based UTV Motion Pictures' football drama Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, starring top actor John Abraham and directed by Vivek Agnihotri, received clearance from the Pakistan Censor Board, making it the first Indian film to get a release in that country.
Goal, produced for 160 million rupees ($4 million), is set in London's Southall-based Asian community. The film reflects the current trend of sports films, which recently saw a hit in hockey drama Chak De India (Buck Up India) featuring superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
The film opens in Pakistan with 12 prints in seven cities including Karachi and Lahore.
We got the permission because 'Goal' is technically a U.K. production which was funded via a specially set up London-based banner, Aim Films, UTVMP chief operating officer Siddharth Roy Kapur said in an interview. The Pakistan distribution deal with Lahore-based Eveready Pictures was worked out via our Dubai-based distributor, Al Mansoor Films. Expectedly, there is a lot of excitement in Pakistan given the huge popularity of Bollywood stars there.
Kapur added that Goal has been released with 450 prints in India, with 130 overseas.