Will screen films of talented Kashmiri filmmakers throughout India: ICCR chairman

Sarhad’s first J&K International Film festival outside Kashmir inaugurated by Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari and Prakash Javadekar
Sarhad’s first J&K International Film festival outside Kashmir was inaugurated by Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari and Prakash Javadekar
Sarhad’s first J&K International Film festival outside Kashmir was inaugurated by Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari and Prakash JavadekarSpecial Arrangement

Pune, June 11: Praising Sarhad for its social service, former minister and Apni Party chairman Syed Altaf Bukhari on Saturday said that Kashmiris were proud of the NGO that he said had supported children from the region by educating and nurturing them.

“When people from mainland India were avoiding J&K, Sarhad stood behind us and helped us. Sarhad has set an example in social service and Kashmiris are proud of it. Sarhad supported brilliant children from J&K and brought them to Pune to nurture and educate them,” he said.

Bukhari said that many Kashmiri students were raised and their minds moulded by Sarhad Founder-President Sanjay Nahar.

“Sarhad is a success story. I am sure that these Kashmiri children will strive hard to justify the faith Nahar has shown in them,” said Bukhari.

He said, “I do not blame the Jammu-Kashmir’s history but our geography for our present condition.”

He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the world's first J&K International Film Festival (JAKIFF) in Pune. Bukhari and former Union Minister MP Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the film festival.

The film fest is being organized by Sarhad, in association with National Film Archives of India (NFAI), and is dedicated to the memories of India’s first superstar Late KL Saigal and santoor maestro Late Pt Shivkumar Sharma. The 5-day festival will last till June 15. Films made by Kashmir’s talented producers and directors will be screened in the festival.

Kashmir's renowned author and filmmaker, Gul, Gulshan, Gulfam TV serial fame Pran Kishore Kaul, and Mushtaq Chaya, member, PHDCCI (J&K) were honored with the Lifetime Achievement award on the occasion.

Former Union Minister MP Prakash Javadekar, ICCR President MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, JAKIFF Director Mushtaaque Ali Ahmad Khan, Abhijeet Patil (Raja Rani Travels), filmmaker Tariq Javeed, Mushtaq A Bala, Abdul Rasheed Bhat, Dr Shailesh Pagaria, filmmaker Nilesh Navalakha, Yuvraj Shaha, and Shailesh Wadekar were present.

PHDCCI (J&K) member Mushtaq Chaya said, “We have come to Pune even in such hot and humid weather out of our love for Sarhad. We are proud of Pune and Maharashtra for bonding with Kashmir.”

ICCR President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe applauded the efforts of young filmmakers from Jammu and Kashmir and the organizers of the first-ever J&K‘s International Film Festival. He assured that nationwide screening of select films produced by talented Kashmiri directors will be screened across the country. He also praised the strong bond of love between the Kashmiri people and Puneites.

Prakash Javadekar said the people of Kashmir are hardworking and talented and the beauty of Kashmir is because of them. He also stated that now the hideouts and infrastructure that could help terrorists have been destroyed. Hence, irate terrorists have started target killings in the valley. However, he said, the situation is under control.

Sanjay Nahar said there is a special relationship between J&K and Maharashtra. Music and art have no boundaries. This is the moment when people can get engrossed in the talent of Kashmiri people and see Kashmir through the Kashmiris' eyes.

Kashmiri singer and Sarhad Music’s lead singer Shamima Akhtar sang Sant Eknath’s Marathi abhang ‘Maze Maher Pandhari’ and some Lavani songs, which regaled the audience.

Greater Kashmir (GK) is the media sponsor of this film festival.

The GK sponsored festival is all set to create waves in Pune, the city that gave India its first movie. The founder of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke belonged to Maharashtra and as such, the first ever J&K film festival outside Kashmir to be organized in Pune, Maharashtra is very auspicious.

Around 75 entries have been received for the festival from India, the US, the UK, Dubai and Canada. The theme of the festival is, of course Kashmir, and short films, documentaries, music videos as well as full length feature films on the subject will be screened in this festival. In the competitive sections, a jury will select entries based on their content and quality. The winners will be announced in the concluding ceremony on June 15.

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