'Lahore', easing India-Pakistan ties through sports (Preview)


New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) The "greatest bond" between two countries torn apart by politics and religion is sports, is what the upcoming film "Lahore" which deals with kickboxing and takes a ring-side view of India-Pakistan relations hopes to portray.

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures India, "Lahore" has been produced by Sai Om Films Pvt Ltd.

Set against the backdrop of competitive sports - kick-boxing - in the international arena, it stars Nafisa Ali, Farouque Shaikh, Ashish Vidyarthi, Nirmal Pandey, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Saurabh Shukla, Sushant Singh, Kelly Dorji, Shraddha Das, Shraddha Nigam and Mukesh Rishi. Actor Aanaahad makes his debut with the film.

"If there's anything that can act as one of the greatest bond between two countries torn apart by politics and religion, it's sports. That's what 'Lahore' is all about," director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan said.

"In a country like India, it's very difficult to showcase a sport other than cricket. I settled for kickboxing because I wanted a brutal sport setting, and being a kickboxer myself, it was easier for me to visualise it," he added.

The story starts with a brewing tension during the selection of the National Indian kick-boxing team. A bilateral kick-boxing tournament with Pakistan is announced.

The aspirations are intensified and a neutral venue is decided in Kuala Lumpur.

The opponents -- Dheerandra Singh from India, an upcoming national champion, and Noor Mohammad, an ace performer from Pakistan -- meet at the event for a result that makes the sports fraternity numb and the rest of the world a mute spectator.

The final follow-up of the match takes place in Lahore which proves to be an epic rivalry with no surrender and a battle for honour.

"It ('Lahore') aims at pacifying relations between India and Pakistan through the medium of a sport," said Nafisa.

Shot in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lonavala, Malaysia and at Lahore, it has already traversed the festival circuit path and won an international award -- the jury award for the Best Feature Film at the 42nd World Fest International Film Festival, Houston, Texas, where the world premiere of the film was held April 20 last year.

The film releases this Friday along with "Love Sex Aur Dhokha", "Shaapit" and "Idiot Box".