Inspired by a real-life incident, Ramchand Pakistani, a film by Brooklyn based filmmaker Mehreen Jabbar, is one of the most talked about films screened in the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. The film, made in Urdu and Hindi, tells the story of how an accidental crossing of the Pakistan-India border by a poor Pakistani Dalit boy and his father, at a time of war-like tension in 2002, dramatically affects their lives. The two Hindus find themselves imprisoned in India as unwelcome trespassers, while the mother faces consequences back home. The story mirrors the emotional trauma of families living near the Pakistan-India border, especially in times of high tension between the two nations. It also highlights the treatment that many innocent prisoners get in jails after being suspected of espionage, and reveals how little the lives of common citizens of the two countries differ. Javed Jabbar, the writer and producer of the film said that through Ramchand Pakistani, he hopes to bring Pakistan and India closer. An India-Pakistan joint venture, the film stars Nandita Das playing the character of Champa, the mother of seven-year-old Ramchand, along with Pakistani actors Rashid Farooqui playing the father, and Syed Fazal Hussain and Navaid Jabbar playing the child and grownup Ramchand respectively. Praised as a “poignant film” by The New York Times, Ramchand Pakistani will be showcased in film festivals and is scheduled for theatrical release in Pakistan later this year. Watch the trailer of Ramchand Pakistani here:
The very talented Mehreen Jabbar is a 14-year veteran of the industry, with a prolific career as a Director/Producer of gritty, hard-hitting films. She has earned a reputation of professionalism and excellence, and is quoted widely as an expert in her field. Mehreen graduated from UCLA with a degree in Film, Television and Video, and returned to Pakistan to direct and produce made-for-TV movies and drama series/serials under the banner of TasVeer Productions, almost all of which were critically acclaimed by the Pakistani press. In addition to these, she directed a number of short films, and her work has appeared in many film festivals around the world including the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival, and the Leeds Film Festival in U. K. to name a few. Her award-winning films include ‘Daughters of the Late Colonel’, and a four-part television show: ‘ Sanam Gazida, Afsoon Khawab, Deeda-e-Purkhoon, and Lal Baig.‘ Ramchand Pakistani is her first feature length film. Mehreen has been a member of the National Board of Film Censors in Karachi, a founding member of WAR (War Against Rape), the Kara Film Festival in Karachi, and has also served as a juror at the Leeds International Film Festival in 2002.