How Kashmir's first bilingual feature film managed to get a screening despite a ban on cinema halls

Revolving around the social life in Kashmir, the film 'Kashmir Daily' attempts to highlight the issues of drug menace and unemployment

For a place like Kashmir, where cinema halls have been shut since the eruption of militancy in 1990s, a locally-produced feature film has opted for a jugaad for its screening in the restive region.

Valley’s first-ever bilingual film in Kashmiri and Urdu languages – Kashmir Daily – is being screened at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex (SKICC) on the banks of famed Dal lake in Srinagar. The government’s willingness to offer its auditorium has come as a blessing for the film’s cast and crew. The film is being screened twice a day till April 3.

Revolving around the social life in Kashmir, the film attempts to highlight the issues of drug menace and unemployment. The main attraction of the movie is its hero Mir Sarwar, a Kashmiri actor. Sarwar shot to fame after playing the father of Munni in blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijan. He has also acted in Saif-Katrina starrer Phantom and Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB, and presently he is working on Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos and a film by Mani Ratnam.

A model-turned- actor, Sarwar says the main aim of working in the local production was to encourage Kashmiri youngsters towards the film industry.  “We look ahead to develop our own film industry in Kashmir but not in any competition because we can’t target world cinema,” he said.

Given the financial constraints, it took Kashmir Daily three years to complete. “Formal release is again a challenge because of similar reasons,” Sarwar added.

The other Kashmiri actors in the lead cast include Neelam Singh, Sanam Ziya, Rajinder Tickoo and veteran TV actor Zameer Ashai. The film’s writer, producer, and director Hussain Khan is hopeful that the ongoing screening will encourage the local talent.

Produced by Seven2Creations, the film has been approved by the Censor Board of Film Certification with a “U” certificate.