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A huge Film Festival Inaugurated in Kashmir For the First Time

For the first time in Kashmir, a grand Film festival was inaugurated.

Kashmir Film Festival Inaugural Event
Kashmir Film Festival Inaugural Event. Qazi Wasif

-By Qazi Wasif

Srinagar: Kashmir World Film Festival (KWFF) returned to Kashmir with more enthusiasm as the hall was Jam packed for its second edition and eminent Bollywood personalities like Rajat Kapoor, Govind Nihalani, Aruna Raje Patel, Syed Akhtar Mirza and others were present at the event. Among people from Mumbai, locals talent, Muzamil Ibrahim, Phunsuk Ladaki and a young filmmaker Rahat Kazmi were also present at the event. Speaking at the event, everyone reiterated the fact that there is a need to bring back cinema culture to Kashmir.

The second edition of the festival was inaugurated by Minister of Public Affairs, Nayeem Akhtar, at Tagore Hall, Srinagar. The five-day festival will take place between 1st – 5th November. Speaking about the revival of cinema in Kashmir, Nayeem Akhtar said that going to the cinema was a part of a family structure earlier. It was like an event where families would come together and enjoy watching cinema but we have failed the younger generation to provide them with means of entertainment.

“Whole world has cinemas now, countries like Pakistan have cinemas and even Saudi Arabia is also opening them now. I do not know why people do not think about opening cinemas here,” said Nayeem Akhtar.

The event is organized by Actors Creative Theatre (ACT), a non-profit organization. According to the organizers of the event, around twenty-five films will be screened in the festival. Not only Bollywood and Hollywood movies will be screened, but local movies of students from various colleges and universities will also be screened.

Saaz, Kotar Baaz, Bangar Bazaar and others are the local films which be screened during the five-day festival. On an inaugural Day, first Kashmiri feature film Mainz-Raat that was produced in 1964 was screened.

Film screening at Kashmir World Film Festival
Film screening at Kashmir World Film Festival. Qazi Wasif

director of the event, Mushtaq Ali Khan said, “We started with a first Kashmiri black and white movie as not many people know about this movie.”I’m really excited to be part of this event participate in the event.

Eminent film director, Govind Nihalani while praising Mushtaq Ali said that the aim of the festival is to “take Kashmir to the world and bring the world to Kashmir. We will love to hear stories from Kashmir.”

Veteran actress Aruna Raje Patel said, It’s a movement and it’s here to stay forever.”

Besides the film festival, a workshop on the topic ‘Introduction to Cinema’ was also held for the media students and cinema lovers in the first half of the day. Bollywood actors Rajit Kapoor, Muzzamil Ibrahim and others interacted with the students and shared with their experiences of working in film industry.

Meanwhile, while talking to reporters, Nayeem Akhtar said that Government would like to take an initiative to re-open cinemas in Kashmir.

All 9 cinemas in Kashmir were closed post the insurgency in 1989. Since then the government efforts to revive cinema has been a failed affair. Prior 1989, Kashmir was the favorite spot for filmmakers to shoot movies. Recently Kashmir started to attract Bollywood again with movies like Rockstar, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Bhrangi Bhaijaan and others being shot in the valley.

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Era of the 1980s Filmmaking was about bringing a change and make it happen: Veteran filmmaker Govind Nihalani

Veteran filmmaker Govind Nihalani, Twitter (FTTI)

New Delhi, May 20, 2017: Veteran filmmaker Govind Nihalani on Saturday said the era of the 1980s was about bringing a change and make it happen in reaction to mainstream cinema. During that period, people witnessed movies from his generation of filmmakers including Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen.

At a time when films like “Qurbani”, “Alibaba Aur 40 Chor”, “Karz” and “Dostana” were ruling the box office with heavy duty star cast, glamour, dance and music, Nihalani says a movement of what was called “new cinema or parallel cinema” started to prove that such elements were not necessary to make a film work.

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“When you ask how the films were made at that time… we had this movement going of new cinema or parallel cinema. That movement essentially started as a reaction to mainstream cinema,” Nihalani said here, during a panel discussion at the Habitat Film Festival.

“It brought out a thought that it was not necessary that you follow a pattern which was established by what we call now mainstream cinema. Which means you must have presence of stars, music, dance, there should be a happy ending… that was very important and that good wins over evil all the time,” he added.

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The 76-year-old and the recipient of six National Film Awards said the filmmakers on the flip side proved that the glamour quotient was not necessary and that films that connect people can also be appreciated and work.

“You can make films that connect with the people. Other elements which connect you with the audience, which requires more human empathy, concern with anything other than being happy a the end of it all… The fact that you can make the difference. You can make the change happen.

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 “When we started making films and the young generation that came in, they came with the idea that you can change something and that change is possible. At the core of it that was the thought. The stories that we chose, it had no stars, glamorous locations… whole thing was about the change and that we make it happen. Stories were chosen in that mood,” he added.

The other panellists include director Buddhadeb Dasgupta and filmmaker Avinash Das.

The Habitat Film Festival is being held until May 28 at the India Habitat Centre.

Other movies which are yet to be screened here include “East is East”, “Maroon”, “Trapped”, “Cholai”, “Sadgati”, “Mukti Bhawan”, “Mantra”, “Aakrosh”, “Veeram”, “Ardh Satya” and “Haraamkhor”. (IANS)