First Kashmir Movie In Decades Set For Release

First Kashmir Movie In Decades Set For Release

29 March 2013
Khabar South Asia
Adil Akhzer

Srinagar: With Kashmir set to release its first 35-mm movie in nearly two decades, film buffs are hoping for a revival of the local cinema scene, which was crippled by the insurgency in the 1990s. The film, titled 'Partav' (Influence), is directed by Dilnawaz Mohidun. Talking to Khabar South Asia, he said projects like his were not always a rarity in Kashmir. 'Before the 1990s, some Kashmiri movies were made, and there were cinemas too,' he said. 'But due to the conflict, theatres were closed down, affecting the film business.' 'Our objective behind this movie is to revive the cinema in Kashmir, and to show the world about Kashmir's rich culture,' Mohidun added. The movie's total budget was Rs. 75 lakh ($138,000). It is slated for release shortly, first in Srinagar followed by other areas, and has already been submitted to several international film festivals. 'The story of the film revolves around a professor who happens to quit everything in his life to devote himself to his literary chores. Later, at the end, he repents and comes back to live with the family. The professor in the movie feels that life should be balanced,' Mohidun said. 'This movie is associated with Kashmiri culture.' Before the eruption of armed insurgency, theatres were doing brisk business in the Valley. The release of Partav in Kashmir is not only considered an attempt to woo the film industry professionals to come forward, but also a call for the restoration of the theatres in the Muslim-majority state. According to Mohidun, the movie can help people across the globe learn more about the region. 'This movie will be an ambassador for Kashmir's culture. Although it is in the Kashmiri language, we have used subtitles for the national and international audience. We just came to know that our movie has been selected for the Excellence Award at the Canadian International Film Festival,' he said, adding that it took three years to produce the movie. An inspiration for youngsters Analysts in Kashmir believe this movie could help more people come forward and start making films about the state. 'This will be an encouragement for the youngsters who are interested in filmmaking. It will also help the audiences to know more about Kashmir,' Nasir Mirza, professor of the Media Education Research Centre Department at the University of Kashmir, told Khabar. The return of relative peace to the Valley and an improved security situation has been a boon to the industry. 'In the last year, we have filmmakers and famous Bollywood stars visiting Kashmir and there has been a change in the ground situation,' he said. Zubair Yaseen, 22, who is pursuing a degree in film studies, said he welcomes the trend. 'Younger generations see no future in filmmaking in Kashmir. I believe this movie would help many youngsters to think afresh and think big. 'It is a wonderful thing that we have a movie that is about Kashmir and in the Kashmiri language. I'm happy to see that there are people who are working to promote Kashmiri culture across the globe,' Yaseen said. Experts on Kashmiri culture and language are also lauding the project. 'It is a wonderful thing that someone has taken the initiative to make a film in Kashmiri language,' Rattan Lal, a professor of Kashmir University's Kashmiri Language Department, told Khabar. 'More efforts like these are needed in the future as it would help people across the globe to know more about Kashmir's language and rich culture.'