A Kashmiri feature film was screened on Monday at a conference centre in Srinagar, where all theatres were shut down during the upsurge of militancy in the state.
The movie, “Kashmir Daily- Story of a Journalist” is written-directed-produced by Hussein Khan. It chronicles a journalist’s – played by actor Mir Sarwar, who has appeared in Bollywood films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Phantom – fight against drug abuse in the Valley.
“It’s a full-length feature film of two hours and twenty minutes. It took me three years to complete the film. The entire budget was around Rs 70 lakhs and I managed it by myself,” Khan told HT.
The film is bilingual made in both Hindi and Kashmiri.
Khan added that he is trying to get distributors and get the film screened elsewhere in the country.
“We made the film both in Kashmiri, our mother tongue, and in Hindi – because we want to reach a large audience,” Khan added.
Sarwar, who plays the lead protagonist, said, “For me it was a wonderful experience and a challenging acting assignment.”
The movie will be screened twice daily from March 20 to April 4 at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) on the banks of the Dal Lake. The first show will start at 12:10pm and the second at 3:10pm.
During the rise of the militancy in 1989-90, Srinagar’s eight single-screen cinema theatres were shut down.
Sarwar said absence of cinema halls should not discourage state’s budding filmmakers from making movies.
“If you go ahead and make a film, there are many ways to showcase it within Kashmir and also outside the Valley. Our effort, through this film, is to encourage more and more people to make films,” he added.
Indigenous film-making had also taken a toll in Kashmir since 1960s. But the scenario is slowly changing. A historical drama Akh Daleel Loolech (A Kashmiri love story) by Arshad Mushtaq, premiered in Srinagar in 2006.
Since then, several films have been produced and screened locally in Kashmir, and even film-festivals were held.
“One of the larger concepts behind this film is to start our own film industry in Kashmir sometime soon. We have everything – from village landscapes to cities – necessary for shooting films. Let’s see how things go on from here,” said Khan.