Given the very few films which are being made in Pakistan today, a number of actresses from the country are now turning to neighbouring India for work in films. Humaima Malik, Meesha Shafi, Sarah Loren, Mehreen Syed, Mathira and Saeeda Imtiaz are just some the female artistes that are looking to establish themselves within the Bollywood film industry. Although many female actors have made the big move of searching for a break in Bollywood, male actors from Pakistan are apparently hesitant to do the same.
Pakistani filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal has stated to the Indian press why there is now a rise in Pakistanis wanting to work in Bollywood, which has managed to establish itself as the second biggest film industry after Hollywood. “Given the current lack of film production in Pakistan, it is natural for actresses to seek opportunities in India. Art and artistes play a positive role in Indian society; they are more valued in India than Pakistan. It is but natural to seek that kind of validation.”
In addition, Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt elaborated on why Pakistani actresses are now leaning towards Bollywood: “Mumbai is the Los Angeles of the East. It is the second entertainment capital of the world. If Yana, who hails from Eastern Europe, can use Bollywood to pole vault herself to fame, it’s natural for aspirants from the SAARC countries to do so. The girls from Pakistan speak chaste Urdu and are, therefore, looked upon as an asset. Our cultural DNA is the same.”