We felt like Toba Tek Singh, caught in nomads land: Ketan Mehta

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Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Filmmaker Ketan Mehta, who has directed the short film “Toba Tek Singh” as part of ZEE5 Film Festival, says even after so many years of partition of India and Pakistan, the bitterness affects the human relation with the neighbouring country.

The short film festival coming live on OTT platform ZEE5 — a series of 12 short films directed by 12 directors, where the initial idea was to bring six Indian and six Pakistani directors together to make these short films and travel each other’s country to create a nice cultural exchange.

“We all met in Amritsar and went to Wagah border; we clicked pictures also. But we did not get visa to go to Pakistan. That way, we all felt like Toba Tek Singh, caught in nomads land,” Mehta told the media on Wednesday after the screening of “Toba Tek Singh”, based on Sadat Hassan Manto’s short story of the same name.

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He went on: “As a filmmaker, we always want people to watch it on big screen. In fact, when the whole concept started, we thought, it would be a great opportunity to bond over films in two countries.”

“By the time film making ended, the relation between the two counties changed. So, though the idea was to travel with films to send out message of peace and harmony, unfortunately, that did not happen,” said the filmmaker.

The film features Vinay Pathak and Pankaj Kapur in the lead role.

“I would say that this is one of the greatest stories that has been written on partition even in the history of literature. The story constantly questions on things and holds a strong relevance. The story is really close to my heart,” said Pankaj Kapur who played the title character of the short film.

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The ZEE5 film festival will show one film every Friday starting August 24 with the opening film “Toba Tek Singh”.

–IANS

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