At a time when Srinagar is all set to have its first multiplex and the first ever State film Policy is unveiled, two well know Kashmir filmmakers have announced their ventures.
The two films are 'Ashiyana' based on the story written by Dr. Satish Vimal, and 'The Frozen Times' by Faiyaz Dilbar. Gul Reyaz of the JK Cultural Revolution will direct and produce the films which are in the Kashmiri language.
"We are going to tell our (Kashmir) stories through these films,” said Gul Reyaz.
He is busy casting and after that, he said, the shooting will start immediately. He said the launch of two projects coincides with the implementation of the J&K Government’s first-ever film Policy. "The re-opening of cinemas is a welcome step as it would provide a platform to the filmmakers in Kashmir”, Gul said. The two films are expected to be completed in four to five months,
Gul Reyaz, President of the JK Cultural Revolution, told Awaz-the Voice that most of the actors and other professionals for the films were from Kashmir. This is to keep up with the spirit of the projects to showcase the real Kashmir, he said.
Launch of films "The Frozen Times" and "Ashiyana" in Srinagar
Gul Reyaz has made many television films and documentaries for Doordarshan during his 30-year career. Since 2014, he has been working on films and his first production received 14 awards. He set up the JK Cultural Revolution in 2018 to encourage Kashmiri theatre.
Satish Vimal, who has authored two dozen books on Hindi poetry, said that his story focuses on the social and cultural heritage and the identity of Kashmir.
"There is a need to make our own identity,” he said. His story has set aside the “politics."
Satish Vimal said arranging the finance for filmmaking was the most challenging part of the project. He asked the business community to invest in filmmaking.
Faiyaz Dilbar is a poet, and writer in both Urdu and Kashmiri languages, and a filmmaker, who has been based out of Delhi for a long time.
Filmmaker Gul Riyaz
His latest publication, a collection of Kashmiri poetry Pakaan Dour-e-Falak' was released recently. He has mostly written for Television and theatre plays.
Faiyaz Dilbar says in The Frozen Times “my focus in this film is that Kashmiri has to identify himself. Kashmir’s Pheran, Wazawan, Haakh, and many more things including handicrafts are known across the world, but that is not exactly the identity of Kashmir.
While the cinema halls in Kashmir - nine in Srinagar and a few others in other major towns of Anantnag, Baramulla, and Sopore were closed soon after terrorism erupted in 1989-90, the first ever multiplex in Kashmir is coming up in Srinagar and would be thrown open soon.
Three cinema halls, Broadway, Regal, and Neelam were opened in 1999 but had to be closed one by one after some time. The first multiplex comprising three cinema halls with a total capacity of 520 seats, under construction for the past two years is coming up at the site of the Broadway cinema in the Badami Bagh area here.
“The idea of such a complex is in my blot. it is coming up where the Broadway cinema once was located”, said Vijay Dhar, a prominent businessman of Srinagar, owner of the multiplex. We want that past practice is repeated and that the people come again here for entertainment like in the past”, he said. On the facilities, Dhar, who also owns Delhi Public School, Srinagar, said that the multiplex would be having different facilities including 3D and hopes that 5d would also be introduced when it starts.
It would also have a Gaming Zone where the children and elders would get entertainment. “I am looking at it positively…. Why should our youth go to Jammu to watch movies”, Dhar commented. The multiplex coming up with the design of INOX would be having local touch, while the Food Courts and the foods available would be having local touch, Dhar said.