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plays host to second Punjabi film festival
by Sawinder Singh
Amritsar recently hosted the second Punjabi Film festival which was attended
by eminent Punjabi artists who used this opportunity to promote Punjabi films.
An idea conceived a year ago by prominent film lover Navtej Sandhu, it has now
evolved into a major platform to encourage Punjabi films. The second edition of
the festival showcased this fact and much more when it was organized under the
aegis of Sur-Saanjh Productions promoted by a group of Punjabi film fans here
recently. Their aim was to promote the Punjabi language and culture through films
that have received good reviews in India and abroad. "Punjabi film, be it a small
budget or a big budget film, I personally feel that Punjabi should be promoted.
My success in winning the `Miss World Punjaban' title is because of my love for
the culture, language and Punjabi costumes," said Japji Khara, a Punjabi actress.
"There is no Hindi film without Punjabi flavour. Interestingly, Bollywood films
are placing Punjabi songs and using Punjabi characters with a traditional touch.
A recent hit is `Singh is Kinng'. But Punjabi films are not so successful," opined
Mohan Bhakdi, a Punjabi film producer and director. Punjabi film industry is witnessing
a tremendous change for quite some time. Since Punjabi film producers today know
that they have a large non-resident Indian (NRIs) audience and a global market
for Punjabi movies, there is a trend for high-budget films. Films like 'Dil Apna
Punjabi', 'Mera Pind - My Home' and 'Lakh Pardesi Hoiya' were among the recent
hits. Punjabi film industry got global recognition when Waris Shah - Ishq Daa
Waris was nominated for the 79th Academy Awards. It was felt that the hard work
and determination of Punjabi artists has been rewarded. "The legendary singers
like Gurdas Maan, Harbhajan Maan, Wadali brothers and Lakhwinder Wadali have made
a great contribution to the promotion of Punjabi. They are also popular overseas,
which has also had a great impact on Punjabi films. We have become veterans now,
but the new generation of artists is really good," said Punjabi actor Guggu Gill.
"As far as Punjabi films are concerned, even though it a small industry, but it
has made a great contribution in popularizing Punjabis worldwide. Be it a singer
or actor, they have achieved success. In Bollywood, Punjabis artists have done
tremendous work - Mohammad Rafi, Sukhwinder Singh, Dharmendra and Dara Singh,
who are from Punjab and were on the top in Mumbai. The day is not far when Punjabi
film industry will reach the level of Bollywood," said Punjabi singer and actor,
Lakhwinder Wadali. Punjabi film industry is heading towards a new dawn and the
next generation is gearing up to take on the challenge.