Partav –Reviving Kashmiri Cinema

‘Only a life lived for others is worth living’

MILESTONE

ARIF SHAFI WANI

Childhood memories leave an indelible mark on one’s mind. And for some these memories become a guiding force in life. As a boy, Dilnawaz Muntazir of Kaichrazgir in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district was an ardent watcher of French and Iranian films depicting social life and culture of the two countries. Muntazir had not imagined that one day he would stand behind the camera to revive the dying cinema of Kashmir.
Muntazir was instrumental is making of Partav (Influence)—first 35mm digital film in Kashmiri under the banner of Dithyramb Entertainment Pvt Ltd. The film is slated for local, national and international premiere soon.
But it was not an easy task for the 35-year old Muntazir. He bravely confronted many challenges to fulfill his childhood dream. Muntazir’s family wanted him to pursue higher education. He became a dentist. “But my cherished dream of making a Kashmiri film always remained close to my heart,” Muntazir says in an emotional tone.
 “Besides entertainment, films do reflect culture of the times of their making. It has been decades since two commercially successful feature films in Kashmiri like Habba Khatoon and Mianz Raat were made. These films reflect culture of Kashmir and stand immortalized for centuries to come. I wanted to break the lull in Kashmiri cinema by reviving it,” Muntazir says. “Our mother tongue Kashmiri is dying a slow death. I wanted to revive it internationally.” 
In 2009 some of Muntazir’s friends extended support to him. “I wanted to make a film as per international standards. I could not find the professionals with requisite experience for making the film in the Valley. So I and my friends decided to train ourselves in various aspects of film production,” he says.
Through correspondence, Muntazir pursued advance course in script writing and TV production from Australia. He did another course from ANHAD Institute of Media Studies Srinagar. His friends Dr Naveed acquired training in sound engineering, Ashiq Hussain Rather pursued film editing course in Delhi and Ajaz Sofi did 3-D Animation course respectively.
Muntazir is the writer, producer, director and music composer for Partav. Rather supported the film as film editor and script supervisor, Muhammad Younis Zargar as cinematographer, DI colorist and Graphic Designer while Shahnawaz Muntazir worked as assistant director, producer and Zahoor Zahid as chief assistant director.
The young team spent hours of brainstorming sessions to plan the film from script to its post-production. “Due to limited budget, we had to plan every aspect of the film meticulously. There was no room for any mistake. After hard efforts, we managed to pool Rs 20 lakhs from our pockets and raised another Rs 50 lakh through loan from banks and other sources for the film,” Muntazir says.
The script development of the film was done by Ghulam Nabi Shahid. “Later I fine tuned it and wrote screenplay according to characters in the script. Finally, we started shooting of the film in various locales on the Valley,” he says.
The film was shot within a month and its shooting was done in autumn. “Partav is a serious subject about intricate relationships. It is revolves around the ideology that a life lived for others is a life worth living,” he says.
He says in contemporary times a notion that all literate are not educated and all educated are not literate has assumed new dimensions.  “People seem to be confused as the two terms are synonymous with each other, and in our society emphasis is given to make people literate rather than to educate them,” Muntazir says. “Education imparts knowledge and is value-oriented while literature is fact-oriented and teaches us how to read and write.”
Partav is a story of a professor who is literate and highly qualified. He is so obsessed with his literary works that he forsakes everything else, even abandons his spouse after just six months of marriage.
“He is so passionately devoted to his literary pursuit that everything else is meaningless for him. Writing papers, books and delivering lectures keeps him preoccupied. He has no friends and family and arrogantly boasts that if a person is devoted to a particular cause, he should renounce everything else to pursue his obsession,” explains Muntazir.
One day he meets a student who happens to be his son and he shakes his world and rakes his conscience by asking simple questions about life.
The Professor is devastated; the myth of his so-called empire falls down like a house of cards. He feels that all his life he had been following shadows and fallacies. Education eases the complication and complexities of life and simplifies its meaning by showing how life is lived. Now the professor is reprehensible what he has done to people who were part of his life. He decides to seek pardon for his behavior and misdoings. Will he be forgiven? Is his remorse enough to qualify him to be forgiven by his friends and family? “The audience will know after seeing the film,” Muntazir says.
All the actors and crew of the film are locals. Noted Kashmir TV actors Raja Majid and Nirmala Dhar play lead role in the film. Besides it has actors like Farooq Afaq, Jahangir Farash, Nazir Harbool, Kounsar, Neelofar, Rayees Mohi-ud-Din, Joziya Mir, Zubair Tak and Zahoor Zahid. Music has been composed for the soothing songs of the film by Muntazir and Raja Bilal.
“We have many talented actors and film production. We involved locals as we want the film to be purely Kashmiri. Infact we did post-production works also in Kashmir. Partav in real sense is made in Kashmir,” Muntazir says.
 Muntazir is satisfied by the effort his team put in to complete the film. “We have received tremendous appreciation. We have left no stone unturned to entertain people in the most efficient, skillful and audacious way through fiction and non-fiction,” Muntazir says. “We are committed to serve Kashmir particularly by focusing on Kashmiri cinema. Partav is a milestone in the history of Kashmiri Cinema.”
The film is slated for local premier on January 13 at SKICC. It will also be premiered in New Delhi and Mumbai next month. “I have sent the film for premiere at Washington DC. English subtitles have made the film globally viable,” Muntazir says.
Any plans to make film on Kashmir conflict?  “Undoubtedly there are a lot of problems in Kashmir. But Kashmir conflict has been exploited by some filmmakers. They come here, make films and exploit sufferings of Kashmiris,” says Muntazir. “I have decided to make films only on themes revolving around history and culture of Kashmir. I want to promote unique culture and language of Kashmir around the globe,” he says.

feedback: arifscribe@gmail.com

Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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