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Friday, 28 December, 2001, 17:24 GMT
Bollywood plans Afghan movie
All movies were banned under the Taleban regime
A prominent Bollywood film-maker wants to be the first to make a film inside Afghanistan since the end of the Taleban's reign.

Hindi actor and producer Feroz Khan has sought permission from Afghan authorities to make a film about an Afghan tycoon coming to terms with the loss of his family following the Russian invasion.

He hopes to be able to use the country's vast mountain terrain as a backdrop to his film.

Khan has experienced first-hand the environment of the war-torn country, having shot the movie Dharamatma there 23 years ago.

Boys in Kabul at a Hindi film show
Cinemas in Afghanistan did brisk business as the doors were once again opened
"I'm hopeful things will change for the better," he said.

"I love Afghanistan and its mountains. I have seen and stayed at Kunduz, Mazar-e-Sharif and Bamiyan while shooting for an earlier film. I would like to go back there."

Dead goat

Khan plans to star in the thriller Janasheen (Close to my Heart), which will be in the usual style of Bollywood movies with lavish song-and-dance routines.

It will also include Afghan traditions such as Buzkushi, a sport in which players on horseback attempt to grab a dead goat.

The female lead will be played by Celina Jaitley, a former Indian beauty queen.

Other locations for the film will be Thailand, Australia and India.

Bollywood films had long been popular in Afghan cinemas before being banned by the Taleban.

Action film Elaan was among the first films to be screened in Kabul's Bakhtar cinema shortly after Northern Alliance forces assumed control of the Afghan capital.

Among the first Hindi films to make an impact in Afghanistan was the 1956 release Kabuliwallah, or The Man from Kabul, which starred Balraj Sahni as a tough Pathan with a kind heart.

See also:

19 Nov 01 | South Asia
Kabul goes film crazy
05 Oct 01 | South Asia
Bollywood suffers from US attacks
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
India's censors hire film sleuths
15 May 01 | Film
Bollywood comes to Cannes
20 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Wax debut for Bollywood star
05 Dec 00 | South Asia
Game show turn off for Indians
01 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Bollywood star tops the poll
31 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Indian cinemas are Millionaire losers
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