Srinagar, May 27: Serene valley of Kashmir witnessed a historic event on Saturday as the first-ever Kashmiri-produced Bollywood film, "Welcome to Kashmir," took centre stage at the Inox Multiplex Cinema in Srinagar.
According to a report, the local audience responded with overwhelming enthusiasm, filling the theatre to capacity and embracing this groundbreaking production with open arms. Bringing to light the challenges faced by the people of Kashmir, particularly the youth, the film resonated deeply with the audience, garnering widespread support and sparking important discussions.
Manpreet, a delighted attendee, expressed her excitement about the movie, emphasizing its significance as the first cinematic portrayal of their beloved Kashmir. She said, "This film truly represents us. The actors are from Kashmir, and it's incredible to witness their talent being showcased on such a platform."
The movie delves into pressing social issues often overlooked in mainstream narratives, shining a light on the realities faced by the people of Kashmir.
Manpreet emphasized the hope that this film would ignite a crucial debate for the betterment of society, stating, "We believe this movie will spark conversations on these important topics and lead to positive changes."
The film proudly boasts a cast predominantly comprised of local actors who shine in lead roles, bringing authenticity and depth to the narrative. It explores significant issues that have plagued Kashmir, including the gripping portrayals of drug addiction, women's empowerment, and the complex dynamics involving the Jammu and Kashmir police forces, the report said.
Under the directorial guidance of Tariq Bhat, "Welcome to Kashmir" was filmed amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the region, showcasing its natural beauty to the world.
According to the report, from the picturesque locales of Sopore, Watlab, Wular Lake, Rampora Rajpora, and Gurez Valley, to the bustling streets of Srinagar, the movie weaves its story within the tapestry of Kashmir's captivating backdrop.
Ahmad Shahab and Mateena Rajput, hailing from the region, deliver remarkable performances as the male and female leads, respectively.
Tariq Bhat, the director, co-wrote the script with associate writer Ashpak Mujawar, ensuring an authentic representation of the region's rich tapestry of stories.
The film's soulful music, composed by Ishfaq Kawa, a gifted singer and composer from Baramulla in North Kashmir, adds a mesmerizing layer to the narrative.
Umar Adil, responsible for the casting process, skillfully brought together a talented ensemble that captivated the audience with their craft, the report said.
Vikas Dhar, the owner of a multiplex, expressed his delight in witnessing local talent shine throughout the film's production. He sees this milestone as a significant step towards a future where the region can fully harness its creative potential without relying on artists from Mumbai or elsewhere.
Dhar shared his optimistic vision, stating, "This film marks a turning point for Kashmiri cinema, and I hope it paves the way for a thriving local industry right here in our own backyard."
Farooq Ahmad, an audience member from Rainawari, was full of praise for the film, describing it as an exceptional cinematic experience that held them spellbound from start to finish.
He said, "It is a truly extraordinary film. The performances were nothing short of brilliant, and they kept us engrossed throughout. 'Welcome to Kashmir' is a testament to the power of storytelling."
As "Welcome to Kashmir" premieres to resounding applause and resonates with the hearts and minds of the local audience, it marks a momentous occasion in the history of Kashmiri cinema.
With its authentic portrayal of the region's challenges and the remarkable talent behind its creation, this groundbreaking film serves as a beacon of hope for the future, illuminating the path towards a flourishing local film industry that celebrates the spirit and resilience of Kashmir, the report said.