Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd announces ZEAL FOR UNITY, a historic peace initiative to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan through cultural experiences~

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd announces ZEAL FOR UNITY, a historic peace initiative to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan through cultural experiences~

Directors at the Zeal for Unity Press Conference

The initiative kick-starts at Wagah Border with 12 Film Makers, 6 from either side of border, coming together to showcase their support~

 Tanya Mirza, Ketan Mehta, Farjad Nabi, Sabiha Sumar, Aparna Sen, Bejoy Nambiar, Punit Goenka (MD & CEO, ZEEL), Tigmanshu Dhulia, Tanuja Chandra, Siraj-ul-Haque, Khalid Ahmed and Nikkhil Advani.                                                                                                                                               

Amritsar– Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), India’s leading Television, Media and Entertainment Company, takes pride to announce a unique peace initiative ‘ZEAL for Unity’, a momentous step towards changing the way people across India and Pakistan see, feel and think about each other.  Launched at Wagah Border, the initiative has brought together 12 celebrated directors from India and Pakistan in an effort to inspire people from either sides of the border towards fostering peace and harmony.

Aparna Sen, Bejoy Nambiar, Ketan Mehta, Nikkhil Advani, Tanuja Chandra and Tigmanshu Dhulia from India and Khalid Ahmed, Mehreen Jabbar, Meenu-Farjad, Sabiha Sumar, Shahbaz Sumar and Siraj ul Haque from Pakistan alongwith Mr Punit Goenka (MD & CEO, ZEEL), Ms Shailja Kejriwal (Chief Creative – Special Projects, ZEEL), Mr Sunil Buch (Chief Business Officer, ZEEL) unvieled the logo of the initiative at the Zero Line, Wagah Border.

Sharing his thoughts about the initiative, Mr. Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, (ZEEL) said, “The ZEAL for Unity initiative is in line with our corporate brand philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – The World is My Family’. The objective of this initiative is to bring together creative minds, film makers, cultural exponents and thought leaders from both India and Pakistan to facilitate an apolitical exchange environment of peace and harmony.”

Ms. Shailja Kejriwal, Chief Creative – Special Projects, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, (ZEEL) explains, “ZEAL for Unity is one of a kind initiative where the best of creative talents from India and Pakistan will come together to showcase their works and promote the cause of unity between the two nations. We have already taken our first step towards this by getting on board 12 Filmmakers from both sides of the border. The 12 films, especially created to celebrate this historic initiative, will be simultaneously showcased in both the countries. As we progress, we aim to continue this cultural dialogue between people from both the sides of border through varied forms of art.”   

Adding to this, Mr Sunil Buch, Chief Business Officer, ZEEL says, “To do anything constructive in life it takes more than a single individual or a solo effort. It takes 2 to move ahead, always. And that is the value proposition that we have chosen for ZEAL for Unity. A simple yet powerful thought that it takes 2 to bring change and sustained change can only be brought about through concentrated efforts of people from both countries. Take 2 also fits in intrinsically with all art media especially films, where it is multiple takes that bring to life the creative imagination and aspiration of storytelling that indelibly change the hearts and minds of people.”

Sharing their enthusiasm in being a part of this first of its kind initiative, the filmmakers said… “When I was approached by ZEEL for “ZEAL for Unity”, I was struck by their ancient Indian philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. And, in a way, the subject of my film “Saari Raat” (All Night Long) is closely allied to this philosophy. A young married couple comes across a stranger who changes their understanding of each other and of love and marriage. I hope this initiative will bring together the two nations through the medium of art and cinema.”- Aparna Sen, Director, Saari Raat

“I instantly agreed to be a part of the ZEAL FOR UNITY project because I could see that it is an initiative for peace and understanding between the people of the two countries. It is a much needed initiative and I welcome it wholeheartedly. Artistic exchanges, especially through the mass media such as television and drama, can go a long way in creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony. Collaborative efforts in this direction provide us an opportunity to learn about each other and about ourselves, which is the first step towards a meaningful friendship.” – Khalid Ahmed, Director, Laloolal.com

“An initiative pooling the creative talent from both India and Pakistan -This is a rare opportunity. I really feel honoured and humbled to be part of such an interesting initiative and that too in such elite company. As excited I am about my film, I am equally excited to see what others bring to the table.”- Bejoy Nambiar, Director, Dobara

“Good films can go straight to the heart and even deep into the soul so we hope these set of films are able to make a dent in the skewed ways in which most Indians and Pakistanis see each other.” Meenu & Farjad, Directors, Jeewan Hathi.

“I think this is a fantastic initiative on the part of Zee as it brings together artists from both countries that share so much in common. I feel cultural exchanges like these are extremely important. They provide an exciting space for creative minds from both countries to share and engage ideas and stories with each other and am very excited to be part of this project”.

Mehreen Jabbar, Director. Lala Begum

“I am delighted to support this initiative by Zee Entertainment. Anything that cross-breeds creativity with a humanitarian cause such as peace and harmony deserves to be encouraged. It is my humble endeavor to capture this spirit in the film I have produced and directed for ZEAL For Unity”. – Nikhil Advani, Director, Guddu Ingiineer

“I am really happy and excited to be a part of the ZEAL for Unity initiative. Films afford us the rare opportunity to see the old with new eyes. Audiences in both India and Pakistan will have the chance to look at subjects from each other’s perspective. There may be reactions of surprise at how similar the cultures are, and there may be greater understanding of the small differences as well. I hope this initiative will pave the way for greater creativity in films in both our countries.”  –Sabiha Sumar, Director, Chotey Shah

’ZEAL for Unity’ is a wonderful initiative to bring creative talents from India and Pakistan on the same platform and share their creative visions. This kind of exchange of ideas and inspirations can go a long way in bringing peace and understanding in this subcontinent. My best wishes for this unique endeavor” –Ketan Mehta, Director, Toba Tek Singh

“A rare opportunity and an amazing platform provided by ZEEL. Very excited to see the variety of stories from talented film-makers across our great countries. It will be interesting to see when people can’t tell whether films are from India or Pakistan!”- Shahbaz Sumar, Director. Khaemae Mein Matt Jhankain

“ It’s a fantastic project conceived by Shailja Kejriwal, not only does it give a film maker the unique and rare opportunity to make an artistic film but also gives us a chance to be a part of a peace initiative.It has been a privilege for me to be invited to be a part of ZEEL for Unity.” –   Tanuja Chandra, Director, Silvat

“For me partition has been the biggest tragedy of the million this effort like many others is to say that-it was a mistake we are one”. – Tigmanshu Dhulia, Director, Baarish aur Chowmein

 “ZEAL for Unity is a cause which should exist among all the individuals who yearn for a better tomorrow. This determination is the key to cultural prosperity among different nations and India and Pakistan are no different. Through this initiative we are trying to strengthen the bonds and solidifying the friendship that exists between the common people of these two nations. By exchanging the cultural values we learn to respect, honour and appreciate the lessons that we learn from other societies and races, which in turn makes us better human beings and work towards the ultimate cause of global peace and harmony.” – Siraj –Ul-Haque, Director, Mohabbat Ki Aakhri Kahaani

A first of its kind initiative in the history of entertainment, Zeal for Unity is an important step towards trying to bridge the gap between two nations at conflict by extending a cultural bridge, aiming to bring the people of both the nations closer.

About Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL):

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited is one of India’s leading television, media and entertainment companies. It is amongst the largest producers and aggregators of Hindi programming in the world, with an extensive library housing over 1.2 lac+ hours of television content. With rights to more than 3,500 movie titles from foremost studios and of iconic film stars, ZEEL houses the world’s largest Hindi film library.

Through its strong presence worldwide, ZEEL entertains over 730+ million viewers across 169 countries. Pioneer of television entertainment industry in India, ZEEL’s well-known brands include Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Premier, Zee Action, Zee Classic, Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Ten Action+, Zee Cafe, Zee Studio, Zee Trendz, Zee Khana Khazana, Zee Salaam, Zee Jagran, Zing, ETC Music and ETC Punjabi. The company also has a strong offering in the regional language domain with channels such as Zee Marathi, Zee Bangla, Zee Telugu, Zee Kannada and Zee Talkies.

The ZEEL stable owns an integrated range of businesses. All of these in singularity adhere to the content-to-consumer value chain model of media and entertainment business. ZEEL is a pioneer in every aspect of content aggregation and distribution through traditional media like satellite and cable and new media like the internet, in India.