Page last updated at 21:46 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 22:46 UK

Pakistan film makes India record

By Zubair Ahmed
BBC News, Mumbai

Scene from Ramchand Pakistani
The film focuses on breaking down barriers

A Pakistani film, based on a real-life story, is being released simultaneously in India for the first time.

The film tells the story of a boy who strays into the Indian side of the border by mistake. It will be released in both countries on 1 August.

Called Ramchand Pakistani, the film has been praised by the critics.

Political rivalry and three wars have limited people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, which in many respects enjoy similar cultures.

Last year another Pakistani film, In the Name of God, was released to critical acclaim in India, but not at the same time as it was in Pakistan.

That is what make the dual release of Ramchand Pakistani such a significant event.

The Indian actor Nandita Das, who has worked in many regional films and has a big part in this one, told the BBC it was fantastic to work in Pakistan. She said the film would help Indians know more about Pakistan.

"They know a lot about us through Bollywood but we don't know them enough," she said.

The film deals with the parents of an eight-year-old boy who inadvertently strays onto the Indian side of the border and is put behind bars.

The producer Javed Jabbar is a former cabinet minister in Pakistan.

He said it was not a political film but a work which focused on the plight of the child and his parents.

There have been limited cultural interactions between the two countries over the last few years. They have fought three wars since independence in 1947 and are now nuclear powers.

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