Harsh Narayan is set to direct a cross-border story of two musicians who set out on a tour of both the countries and discover themselves in the course of the journey. The film titled 'Yeh Raste Hai Pyaar Ke' will be produced by Shyam Benegal.
The news comes close on the heels of calls to ban Pakistani talent in India in the wake of the Uri attacks with Rahul Dholakia’s Raees which features Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil with Fawad Khan in a guest appearance and Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi which has Ali Zafar as one of the male leads, facing the flak. While political parties including Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Shiv Sena have demanded that Pakistani actors be replaced in Indian films, Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) passed a resolution on October 2 banning artistes from across the border. But Benegal and Narayan are unperturbed.
Narayan was quoted saying to Mumbai Mirror, "believe there couldn’t be a better time to put out a film that explores love and peace and promotes humanity." Shyam Benegal further added, "People called me mad when I was making Ankur! I have found another mad-creative filmmaker in Harsh. He is capable, hard-working and can take on all the creative responsibilities necessary in making this film."
Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, former Foreign Minister of Pakistan has green-lit the project as well. He said, “Respected Pakistanis and Indians who have known Narayan over the years and have seen him work relentlessly speak highly of his endeavours. I feel this film will help reduce friction between the two nations."
We even hear that Fawad Khan is in talks with the makers to star in this film. The actor had first read the script three months ago. Narayan said, "At the moment, he is sceptical about reactions to him working in an Indo-Pak co-production. He has shown a keen interest and will respond as soon as the present situation cools down. We are hoping he agrees to play the lead musician in the film."
Guess we will have to wait till we hear any official announcement.