A Pakistani film will hit Chinese cinemas for the first time in more than 40 years this November, as Beijing seeks to bolster relations with Pakistan at a time when its connections to India are at a nadir.
According to ECO Cultural Institute quoting Variety, military action-romance film "Parwaaz Hai Junoon" will screen in wide release from Nov. 13. Access to what has this month become the world's largest film market is an attractive prospect for Pakistan, whose struggling film industry has grown anemic since its pipeline of popular Indian films was banned last year due to tensions over Kashmir.
Beijing has invested tens of billions of dollars in Pakistan in recent years, financing railways, hydropower projects and other infrastructure, and gaining access to the country's highly strategic Gwadar port.
Now, film is also being used to forge closer ties. The film's release comes ahead of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan.
Directed by Haseeb Hassan, the 2018 Urdu-language film "Parwaaz Hai Junoon" is the fifth highest grossing Pakistani film of all time with receipts of $2.1 million in its home country - a stronger performance than "Avengers: Endgame," which ranks eighth with a $1.9 million gross, according to local reports. "Parwaaz Hai Junoon" has grossed just $261,000 overseas so far from runs in Australia, Norway, U.K. and the Emirates.