Kashmir-based feature film set to release in July: Theatrical trailer out

SRINAGAR: Kashmir-based feature film ‘Kashmir Daily – Story of a journalist’ is set to release this July as the Central Board of Film Certification passed the film with ‘universal audience’ rating. Theatrical trailer of the film was released here on Saturday.

The film is a story of a ‘true journalist’ and reflects his chase for investigative reporting, and is also based on a key social issue of drug menace. The 145-minute-long film took over two years in making. Interestingly, the film has been produced in two languages – Urdu and Kashmiri – simultaneously.

The producer and director of the film, Hussein Khan, addressed a press conference in Srinagar today in which he said he did not receive any support, neither from the government nor from other people. “We have made this film with much difficulty because whatever we have done is based on our own efforts,” he said. “We did not receive any support from anyone, instead, people discouraged us from time to time.”

The producer said the censor board did not cut ‘even a single frame’ of the film.

Khan said the film needed support to make its release possible across and outside the country, and in Kashmir. Khan said he was not asking for monetary support, but support of the government and private corporate in terms of facilitation and logistics.

“We want the film to release and Kashmiri people to watch it. I want to take money from people who purchase the tickets and from sponsors, not from the government,” he said.

Although the film was scheduled for release next month, the film-makers were yet to finalize a deal for its distribution. “We are talking to the distributors. We won’t be able to release it ourselves, but we are hopeful that it would be done without much hurdles,” Khan said.

Renowned actor Zameer Ashai, while speaking on the occasion, said it was not an easy job to produce films in Kashmir because no organization was ready to finance any film. “Our cultural ministry should come forward to help the people who are associated with the film industry. Then we can create a small industry and show people that there is talent here,” he said.

Lyricist of the film, Aijaz Hussain Joo, said the songs of the film would make viewers understand the reality of a journalist and how the problems, concerning Kashmir, could be addressed. “The people, who believe in truth and humanity, will like this film a lot,” he said.

Raja Bilal, who has composed music for the film, said he focused on Kashmir’s folk music, which he believed was not less than rock music.

“This time he (Hussein Khan) made the film on his own efforts, but if he takes up more projects in future, it’s imperative upon the government to support him,” Bilal said. “There is no cultural policy here, like every other state has a good cultural policy which has funds for films, cultural programmes.”

Recorded audio-visual statements of lead actors, who could not attend the conference, were also played on the occasion.

Lead actor Mir Sarwar said it was the first film to be made in two languages simultaneously and also the first film from Kashmir that was sent to the censor board. He expressed optimism over its distribution, saying it could be screened in film festivals and through other avenues, if not in cinema halls.

Female actor Neelam Singh said there was no lack of talented people in Kashmir, but lack of interest that hindered growth of the film industry.

The producer requested the media fraternity for support, saying the film pertained to their profession and it would be possible to make it reach large number of people with their support.

Reiterating his demand for government’s support to create a film industry in Kashmir he said, “There are so many mass communication students who go out, but if there is infrastructure here, they would not need to go out.”

“People come from outside to make films here, so why couldn’t we make ours, why couldn’t we create our own film industry,” he added.