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US, UK and Dubai are the top three overseas market for Indian films says Yash Chopra

Fri Dec 16,2005

Dubai, December 16, 2005: Celebrated Indian film-maker Yash Chopra said that Dubai ranks amongst the top three markets for Indian films worldwide. The US and the UK are ranked one and two respectively. His distribution company, Yash Raj Films, has opened its Dubai office after New York and London.

A canny businessman in addition to being a doyen of Indian cinema, Yash said: “It is not surprising that Dubai is such a huge market for Indian movies. Its multicultural ethos and position as the gateway to the region is the reason for its success. It is expanding every day, every minute and every second and the Dubai International Film Festival ensures that the movie business will grow here.”

Commenting on the Pakistani market that is officially closed to Indian films, Yash said: “India and Pakistan share the same culture. By keeping that market closed, the biggest losers are the Pakistani government and film goers. My informed estimate of the thriving illegal business in Indian DVDs and VCDs is to the tune of US$50 million annually. Their government is losing out on entertainment related income and film generated tourism. I have been denied a visa to shoot a movie in Pakistan and so have many of my colleagues.”

Described as a gentle giant with a golden touch, Yash is involved in all aspects of the Indian movie business. He writes, produces and directs his own movies, encourages new directors by producing their movies, has a music company and runs a global distribution business. His latest venture is the opening of India’s most advanced post-production studio. One of his movies, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge (The brave-heart takes the bride) has become the longest running Indian film of all time by showing for 530 weeks in India.

“I have been honoured here at Dubai and feel that this award is as important as my first. With an award comes additional responsibility. You promise to do your best to live up to the faith people have placed in you. There can be no resting on your laurels,” he concluded. Yash Chopra’s work spans four decades in the Indian film industry. He is credited with such timeless Indian classics as Deewaar, Kabhi Kabhie and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. His box-office smash hit Lamhe and the more recent cross-border drama Veer Zaara have been screened as part of the DIFF 2005 tribute program.

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