April 2006 News

Kashmir film festival yet to see the light of day

17 April 2006
The Hindu
Lakshmi B. Ghosh

New Delhi: It was meant to be a date with Kashmir the 35 mm way. But over a year after it began working on an ambitious film festival in Kashmir, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry seems to have set itself a seemingly difficult task: hunting for movies made by Kashmiris on Kashmir. Originally meant to be held last summer in Srinagar, the festival is yet to see the light of day thanks to the Government insisting on making the event more 'localised' by screening films on the State by Kashmiris. The Ministry's decision to go local is making it difficult to get the festival on ground. 'There are a lot of movies that have Kashmir as the backdrop or that have been shot in Kashmir. But then we were not looking for that. Our attempt has been to get films on Kashmir made by Kashmiris and somehow there just aren't enough numbers for us to form a package,' said a Ministry official. Although the Ministry had organised a film festival in Srinagar around two years ago, the package of films then had mostly comprised of popular cinema, as it was after a long gap that the State had seen such an event. The positive response received by the festival encouraged the Ministry plan another festival, and this time a bigger one. Officials point out that very few films have been made on Kashmir in the past decade, with most being Bollywood products. It is not surprising that a majority of the works to come out of Kashmir have been on the digital format.


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