NEW DELHI - Samina Pirzada grew up watching the films of Bollywood's late ethereal beauty Madhubala, has enjoyed new wave Indian gems like Parineeta and Barfi, and loves to catch up on Comedy Nights With Kapil. But Samina Peerzada, a veteran actor-filmmaker from Pakistan, says exchange of content from Pakistan to India has been long-awaited and will help find connect.
"I think it has been long-awaited - this exchange of content from Pakistan to India. We're glad that viewers in India will now hear the voice of Pakistan; will have a face to our country; see our lives; feel our emotions; issues; and see our commonalities through our shows," the 59-year-old told an Indian news agency over phone from Lahore.
Indian shows have for long been lapped up in Pakistan - but viewers had to rely on pirated recordings. The internet opened the gates and allowed people to access Pakistani shows via online video-sharing platform YouTube.
With Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Samina has already found a fan following here and now one of her old shows, Noorpur Ki Rani, an adaptation of English novel Rebecca, is set to be beamed on the channel starting on Monday. "its wonderful how, through art, dance and music, people across the world have learnt to celebrate each other's cultures.
"Through Zindagi channel, we're excited to showcase Pakistan's stories to India. It's a positive change," added Samina, who was born into a Muslim family in Lahore, and had to patiently convince her parents to let her pursue her passion for acting. She started her career in 1976 with Nazdikiyan, following which she featured in Bazaare Husn and Khawahish.
Widely travelled, she has done her bit in theatre and she also went behind the camera for films like Inteha and Shararat apart from working as an actress in a slew of TV shows. Now she says she's hoping to plan a co-production with an Indian producer for some great storytelling.
"I hope India gets to sample the new wave of cinema in Pakistan. Our hope is that when you release your films in India, a Pakistani film gets a simultaneous release," she said, pointing out the positive response that film like Khuda Kay Liye and Bol from her nation received at the Indian box-office.