First Major Int'l Film Festival Takes Off In Kashmir
28 June 2007
Srinagar: An international film festival, first in the past two decades, began here on Wednesday with the screening of an Indian film on Indo-Pak relations. The festival, held at the state of art auditorium situated along the picturesque Dal lake, began with the screening of 'Little Terrorist' directed by Ashwin Kumar. Over 40 documentary films, a mix of short features and animation films, will be screened for two days. Among the entries are films from Iran, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Netherlands and Australia. Over 10 films by Kashmiri filmmakers, depicting the life and culture of the valley, will also be screened at the festival. 'Kashmir is famous for its composite culture and in this regard it has a unique status in the union of Indian states,' Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said while inaugurating the festival. The people of different faiths and languages reside in the state in perfect harmony, he added. The festival would provide a good scope for documentary and short films, the chief minister said, adding film producers should come and highlight these aspects of the life. Radical Muslim militants banned cinemas in Kashmir in 1989 at the start of an armed uprising for independence from India. A lone cinema was opened in Srinagar with government support. The cinema's major chunk of visitors are security personnel who watch Bollywood masala movies under tight security. The festival is being held during a time of decreased violence in Kashmir. State government held an Iranian film festival two years ago.