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Lights, Camera, Srinagar | Indian cinema can be bridge between Kashmir and world: Madhur Bhandarkar

02:47 AM May 13, 2024 IST | Auqib Salam
lights  camera  srinagar   indian cinema can be bridge between kashmir and world  madhur bhandarkar
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Srinagar, May 12: Four-time National Award-winning filmmaker and Padma Shri Madhur Bhandarkar, who is on a visit to Kashmir, Sunday said Indian cinema could be a strong bridge between Kashmir and the rest of the world, inspiring national and international filmmakers.

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In an exclusive interview with Greater Kashmir, the renowned Bollywood filmmaker known for his films like Chandni Bar (2001) Satta (2003), Aan: Men at Work (2004), Page 3 (2005), Corporate (2006), Fashion (2008), Jail (2009), Dil Toh Bacha Hai Ji (2011), Heroine (2012), Calendar Girls (2015), and Indu Sarkar (2017), said Kashmir has great potential in filmmaking.

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Bhandarkar said that he had been coming to Kashmir for years now and sees many good things happening here when it comes to filmmaking.

He said that with more filmmakers making Kashmir a favourite destination, it was not only giving opportunities to local artists but also boosting the overall business here.

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“I have been coming to Kashmir regularly since 2009. I might have missed this opportunity once or twice, but I will ensure visiting twice next year to compensate. Visiting Kashmir inspires me differently, and the visit has been set in by my biological clock that pushes me every year to visit here. I feel cut off from the world while being in the lap of nature,” Bhandarkar said.

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He said that Kashmir had already become a favourite destination for the Indian film industry, and he was sure that in coming years, it would attract even international film-makers.

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“Over the past few years, I have met so many foreign tourists here who are equally fascinated by the beauty of Kashmir, and I am sure that the time is not far when international movies will be shot here,” Bhandarkar said. He said that there was so much more to explore in Kashmir, and the location would not be only budget-friendly for filmmakers but also perfect for various movies there.

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Bhandarkar said that beyond locations, Kashmir has great food, amazing hospitality, and a culture that is inspiring in every aspect. “There are so many themes to work on, as Kashmir has a spiritual history, be it temples or shrines. The culture is rich, and the people themselves are inspiring,” he said.

Bhandarkar said that beyond conflict and other usual themes, Kashmir could be explored to a greater extent, and there could be movies on varied subjects that give new insights to the audience.

“I am working on three different scripts right now, and last year, my movies on OTT platforms did well, which is a boost. If I get a script that justifies itself in the context of Kashmir, I will take no time in making a movie. In Kashmir I would like to make a film that is around human drama and love story, giving a different perspective,” he said.

Bhandarkar said that over the years, Kashmir had seen a boost in tourism, and in such a scenario, the Indian film industry could play the role of ambassador.

“The administration is also keen to facilitate filmmakers. There are many subsidies and single-window clearance for filmmakers. They are also trying to make it easy for everyone, which is a good thing. The young talent here will get more opportunities. We can have auditions here, and people beyond actors, like set designers and singers, can get the opportunity to work with big names in Indian cinema,” he said.

Bhandarkar said that people from the industry would invest more in Kashmir as this place has great stories to tell.

He said that this wouldn’t only benefit local artists here, but also the tourism industry and the world would fall in love with Kashmir more deeply. In the late nineties, Bhandarkar after working with many filmmakers made his directorial debut with the movie Trishakti (1999), an out-and-out popcorn entertainer.

After two years, he directed Chandni Bar, starring Tabu.

The film was critically applauded and a major box-office success, which took Bhandarkar into the top league of filmmakers in the Indian film industry.

He received his first National Award for this film.

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