Despite all the controversies and pressure between the two countries, when it comes to talent, there are no boundaries. After the launch of Zindagi channel which brought Pakistan’s TV content closer to Indians in 2014, Zeal For Unity (ZFU) is the second initiative by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) to use the strength of creative thought leadership from both the countries to bridge the divide between the two.
“This initiative is keeping in line with our proposition ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which means ‘The World is My Family’. It’s an initiative to bring people together, and one of the best ways to reach people is through cultural similarities,” Punit Goenka, managing director and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. said.
Before releasing their respective films, however, these directors have treated us to a poem about promoting peace.
Filmmakers From India are: Aparna Sen, Bejoy Nambiar, Ketan Mehta, Nikkhil Advani, Tanuja Chandra and Tigmanshu Dhulia.
while the directors representing Pakistan are: Mehreen Jabbar, Sabiha Sumar, Shahbaz Sumar, Siraj ul Haque, Khalid Ahmed and Farjad Nabi/Meenu Gaur.
This project is also unique because this is the first time when Pakistani films will be released under an Indian banner and the two countries will come together on equal grounds. The 12 films will have diverse story lines and will touch upon different issues. It would be interesting to see what the directors have on plate for audiences all across as they come from two different backgrounds.
“In some ways or the other, the films touch upon the Hindu-Muslim and India-Pakistan relationship, but we didn’t ask the filmmakers to specifically make films on peace. We gave them the freedom of choice to tell stories their way, no rules, no format,” Shailja Kejriwal, chief creative – Special Projects, ZEEL said.
“Zindagi was the first step in a direction to bridge the cultural gaps as Indians at large had not seen Pakistani content and the lifestyle of people in Pakistan. Now the second step is to get directors from both nations to stand together and dissolve the boundaries,” Kejriwal said, stressing on how “the common man in both the countries does not want war”.
Here’s the full poem: