The Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Directorate of Film Festivals have announced that they will be hosting an Indian Film Festival in Kabul in late January.

Up to 10 films will be screened at the festival with likely contenders including Satya, Lagaan and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

War-scarred Kabul has around 12 decrepit theatres, including the famous Bakhtar theater where Indian films were traditionally screened. The interim administration in Afghanistan has also sought the Indian Government's help in strengthening its television network with Hindi Films.

Meanwhile, Hindi film actor and producer Feroz Khan plans to shoot his next project entitled Janasheen in the war-ravaged nation. The film stars himself along with son Fardeen Khan and Miss India-turned-actress Celina Jaitley. Khan had earlier shot one of his films - Dharmatma in Afghanistan. Janasheen is a romantic thriller centred on an Afghan tycoon traumatised by the loss of his family in the wake of the Russian invasion. With Fardeen Khan and Celina Jaitley in the lead, Khan plays a villain in the film, which will be high on Hollywood-like special effects and short on Bollywood-like songs and dances.

The shoot, which started on December 17 in Bangalore will take the cast through Spain and Australia, before ending in Afghanistan. Along with the barren beauty of Afghanistan's bald mountains, his film will capture the racy excitement of a popular local sport, buzkashi. Players on horseback battle for the carcass of a goat or sheep in a game not for the faint-hearted.

Meanwhile Indian film producer Aruna Irani is trying hard to get her film, Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa, released in Kabul. If the permission, which she sought from the new dispensation last month, comes through, it will be the first Hindi movie to hit cinemas in the Afghan capital since the Taliban took over and banned all sorts of entertainment, including films.

Earlier, film producer Aamir Khan, had given a new year's gift to the battle-weary people of Afghanistan - a print of his latest blockbuster, Lagaan, was presented to the interim President, Mr. Hamid Karzai. The print of the movie was handed over by India's special envoy, Mr. S. K. Lambah, when he called on the Afghan President.