The Valley will come alive with a big cinematic extravaganza on Saturday when the the first-ever Kashmir International Film Festival gets under way.
Organised by Loudbeetle.in and Space Communication, the two-day KIFF will see 22 films from across the globe screened at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre on the banks of the Dal Lake.
The film festival is being held 23 years after militant outfit ‘Allah Tigers’ — it is defunct now— forced shutting down of cinemas in the Valley.
Some of films selected for the special screening include Mainz Raat, Habba Khatoon, Sama-Muslim Mystic Music of India and The Last Day. Khair, Dilli, The Story of Change and Climate Change have been selected in the national category.
“We were overwhelmed by the response we got from all over the world. We got the entries from across the globe in a short span of 20 days. We received 77 entries from which 22 were selected,” Dr Amit Wanchoo, chief executive officer of Space Communications, told dna.
“It is the first film festival in the Kashmir Valley. People are so happy that their films are to be screened in Kashmir. They have put it on their websites. When international film of very good quality is screened here, it gives an idea to young filmmakers what we make,” Dr Wanchoo said.
The highlight of the festival will be the mélange of Kashmiri Muslim and Pandit filmmakers. “The festival will act as a bridge between the Kashmiri Pandit and Muslim filmmakers. Both are sons of the soil,” Dr Wanchoo said.
The organisers have roped in three local renowned filmmakers who would be judging the films.
“This time all the films are part of the general category. The judges will chose the three best films at the end of the festival. Besides, this is just the beginning, this festival will be an annual feature,” he added.
The festival is being organized 10 months after Grand Mufti of Kashmir Bashir-ud-din Farooqi issued fatwa calling music un-Islamic and forcing the all girls rock-band `Praagaash’ to disband.