SRINAGAR — After a hiatus of over three decades, the Indian film industry Bollywood is making strides towards Kashmir to shoot scenes in a bid to generate an aura of uniqueness and affinity with an otherwise largely disgruntled audience.
Kashmir, known for its beauty all across, once used to be an easy-to-go destination for many Bollywood directors for a large part of the second half of the twentieth century given its proximity to industry hub Mumbai and nonetheless because of its unparalleled and enchanting beauty. However, the industry people almost stopped visiting here due to the onset of insurgency which also resulted in the shutting of cinemas setup in the length and breadth of the valley.
It nevertheless was last year that incumbent Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha launched a new film policy at a star-studded event in the presence of actor Amir Khan and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani at SKICC, to give a new lease of hope and attract the industry people back towards Kashmir.
The film policy, Sinha opined, is aimed to transform Jammu Kashmir into the most preferred destination for the entertainment industry, reviving its halcyon days of being a cinematographer’s delight and bringing back the golden era of film shooting in the region besides maximizing the potential of promising local talent and creating livelihood opportunities for many.
“I invite filmmakers from across the world to come to Jammu and Kashmir and capture its pristine beauty through their lens. And, also avail the host of fiscal incentives, world-class facilities offered by the Jammu and Kashmir Government,” Sinha said on the occasion.
Subsequently, Sinha inaugurated the first multiplex in the valley, which of late has been driving many people to revive their interest in the Bollywood industry.
Seemingly taking a cue from the green light from the UT administration, Karan Johar-directed “Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani” crew has landed in world famous ski resort Gulmarg to shoot one of the movie’s songs.
The song, as learned by the news agency GNS, will be a tribute to the late filmmaker Yash Chopra. Ranveer and Alia will recreate the looks of Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor from the film Chandini, directed by ace director Yash Chopra in the late 1980s. Alia will be seen donning chiffon sarees while Ranveer, for a change, will be seen in formal attire.
It is believed that Karan Johar wanted to film the song in Switzerland, but after Alia Bhatt’s personal reasons, he moved it to Kashmir as the filmmaker believes that snow has the same feel in Kashmir as it has in Switzerland.
It has been learned that several Bollywood directors are mulling over and rather are already in talks with the administration to seek a go-ahead to shoot scenes of their movies at different places in the Valley.
“Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani” is expected to bring the audience back to watch Bollywood, which otherwise has been going through a lean phase, except for a silver line in the form of the recently released Shahrukh Khan-starrer ‘Pathaan’.