The film, which has been shot in Kashmir, showcases the beauty of Kashmiri culture and features local artists in lead roles. SRI NAGAR: This could be a measure of peace in the valley beset with terrorism for over three decades. Kashmiri filmmaker Tariq Bhat’s Hindi movie 'Welcome to Kashmir' would be released in Kashmir’s only multiplex in Srinagar on May 26. It is the first Hindi movie made in Kashmir by a Kashmiri filmmaker in over five decades.
The film, which has been shot in Kashmir, showcases the beauty of Kashmiri culture and features local artists in lead roles. Vikas Dhar, the owner of the multiplex in Srinagar, told this paper that a Kashmiri filmmaker’s movie will be released in the multiplex on May 26. The multiplex, which has three movie theatres with a seating capacity of 522 seats, was thrown open for the public last September. It is located in the highly secure Shivpora area of uptown Srinagar. Vikas said the seats are already fully booked for the first show.
“There will be two shows of the movie on May 26 (Friday). There has been a good response from the people. While the film has sold out tickets for the first show, people are now booking tickets for the second too,” he said. People are also buying tickets for the movie from the counters, he said.
The main roles in the film have been played by actress Mateena Rajput and debutant Ahmad Shahab, both locals. A local Kashmiri singer and music composer Ishfaq Kawa has composed music for the film. According to director Tariq Bhat, Welcome to Kashmir is meant for the Valley. “It depicts the Kashmiri culture and has Kashmiri artists, including singer Ishfaq Kawa. This is a Bollywood film and for the first time, all actors and technicians are from Kashmir. There is a song in Kashmiri (with subtitles) that features in the movie.”
The motive behind this film, he said, is to portray the real and positive image of Kashmir in Bollywood. The movie focuses on issues confronting Kashmir such as drug addiction and women’s empowerment. The movie will have three shows daily in the Srinagar multiplex after its release.
“The response to the movie will be good. It is our own film and we have to support it,” Vikas said, adding that Welcome to Kashmir will attract local talents in the filmmaking industry. “We have got some beautiful and untold stories in Kashmir, which need to appear on the silver screen. It can be a trendsetter.” (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)