Ushna Shah believes that Netflix took away an opportunity from Pakistani filmmakers after they picked up the story of Lahore’s Heeramandi in collaboration with Indian director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Taking to social media, Ushna said it’s not a collaboration but an appropriation. “Netflix doesn’t fund original projects for Pakistan. This is an opportunity taken away from Pakistani directors and filmmakers. Collaboration is one thing but this is appropriation,” she wrote.
“It’s not his to make! It’s not theirs to make! This is so infuriating!” she added.
Ushna further went on to compare it with an example of Pakistan making a film on Mahabharata. “Heeramandi is set in Lahore which is in Pakistan, and even if we abide by the pre-partition argument: Mughal history is often denied by India and it is what Pakistani history is set on (school books etc). India has a plethora of rich cultures and history to base films on, whereas we predominantly relate to the Mughals. This would be like a Pakistani director making Mahabharata,” she concluded.
Ushna is not the first Pakistani actor who spoke on this topic as earlier many others raised concerns over the backwardness of Pakistan that Heeramandi’s story was picked up by India.