There are no cinema theatres operating in Kashmir but the residents can watch some select movies over the weekend as the valley will host its first film festival in more than 23 years.
The two-day Kashmir International Film Festival (KIFF), organized by Space Communications – an event management company - will get underway here tomorrow at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) on the banks of the Dal Lake.
"We have selected 22 films from across the globe for screening at the KIFF," Amit Vanchu, CEO of Space Communications, told PTI.
This is the first film festival to be held in Kashmir after the eruption of militancy in 1990. All the cinema theatres in Kashmir were shut down following a diktat of militant and separatist outfits like Allah Tigers and Dukhtaran-e-Millat.
Although couple of theatres reopened after government provided security and subsidies to owners in late 1990s and early 2000, the screening of movies had to be stopped following grenade attacks inside the premises of these halls.
'Mainze Raat', 'Habba Khatoon', 'Sama-Muslim Mystic Music of India' and 'The Last Day' are some of the movies to be screened at the festival.
"There was an overwhelming response from several countries. We received 77 entries but due to lack of resources and paucity of time, we shortlisted only 22," Vanchu said.
He said the aim of the Film Festival was to give different narrative of Kashmir and the situation of its people from the perspective of Kashmiri Muslim and Kashmiri Pandit filmmakers.
"We have seen people on TV debates... what a Kashmiri Pandit representative says there is not the view of the entire community and, likewise, not everybody agrees what a Kashmiri Muslim leader says on such shows. This is an effort to bring out the perspective from different point of view," he added.
Vanchu said the festival is an expression of art which should act as a bridge between various communities and not divide them.