Bollywood's influence on Pakistani lives and on its film industry is undeniable, says model-actress Aamina Sheikh, a well-known face in the neighbouring country's fashion and entertainment sector.
"One can't deny the Bollywood influence in Pakistan," Aamina told IANS, adding that people in Pakistan were as passionate about Bollywood as Indians.
"So much so that they want to compete with Bollywood films. We, as actors, always say that we can't compare the two industries at infrastructural and other level. But people can't help but compare."
"Bollywood has an immense impact on our lives. Who doesn't want to take a deep dive into it," added the 29-year-old.
Aamina, who is the face of L'Oreal Paris, Emirates Airlines, Pantene Shampoo and Clear Shampoo in Pakistan, was in India for the first time for her forthcoming film "Josh", which was screened at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) here.
Directed by Iram Parveen Bilal, "Josh" is the only fiction film from Pakistan screened at MFF in the last five years. It is also the only film from the neighbouring country to be showcased at the festival this year.
"I am here for the first time and what better way to come for work through work. 'Josh' is a film that has been made with a lot of passion and heart. I am hoping it does well," she said.
Talking about her character in the film she said: "I play Fatima, who has a group of friends who are very progressive and represent the urban youth from cities like Karachi and Mumbai. It is through her friends that she explores her nanny's village. The nanny runs a 'khaana ghar' that Fatima attempts to run after her nanny dies.
"As she starts the journey, she comes across a lot of complexities and tries to address them head on. So the film is about her journey of exploration of the village, which has mystery and lies."
"Josh" will break the stereotype of the country, hopes Aamina.
"The plot of the film is like an allegory of what Pakistan is right now. It is a bird's eye view of what the country is. The story makes you touch the heart of Pakistan and break the stereotype image of the country," she said.