Despite turmoil Bollywood continues shooting in Kashmir

With Tulip and almond bloom expected by end of this month, a considerable increase in permissions being sought for film shoots is being witnessed. PTI file photo

Notwithstanding the recent turmoil in Kashmir in the backdrop of the deadly terror attack in southern Pulwama district, Bollywood crews have started shooting for their upcoming movies at famous tourists destinations in the Valley.

With Tulip and almond bloom expected by end of this month, a considerable increase in permissions being sought for film shoots is being witnessed. 
“Both feature film-makers and short film producers are seeking permission for film shoots here. Tulip garden is a major attraction and we are receiving requests for film shoots of different types,” Director, Tourism Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani told DH.
According to a tourism department official, more than 15 movies and advertisements were shot in Kashmir over the last two years despite the turbulent situation in the Valley.
Javed Ahmad Bakshi, director of SK International Convention Center not only the Bollywood but television industry is also upbeat about shooting the Valley. “We interacted with a lot of filmmakers and television personalities recently in Mumbai and they expressed their love for the Valley,” Bakshi, who represented Jammu and Kashmir as the “partner state” at country’s largest media and entertainment event, ‘FICCI Frames’ in Mumbai recently, said.
He said J&K being the partner state for the event was a value addition to promotion of Valley and they hope there can have an improved tourist footfall this summer.
Film producers and actors who recently visited the Valley cherished their experiences saying they would be keen to visit the Valley again. 
Actress Divya Dutta who has been seen in many Bollywood and Punjabi films said her shooting in Kashmir for Bollywood film “Gul Makai”, based on the young Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, was when she had the best time shooting. Earlier also Dutta has shot for a film in the valley with singer and songwriter Gurdas Mann.
Producer of the film “Hamid”, Siddharth Anand Kumar says Kashmir plays a vital role in the script of the movie. “The film is a tale of empathy as thematic which is essential for human being especially in our troubled times. The message of the film is very relevant.”  
Kumar said his soon to be released film Hamid has a relevant message for everyone in the valley and outside. 
Owing to its natural beauty, Kashmir was an integral part of Bollywood films till insurgency erupted in the late ’80s and the latter lost its connection with the Valley. However, as the situation improved over the years, Bollywood again returned to its choice locations in Kashmir. Legendary Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra shot his last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan in Kashmir in 2012.
However, civilian unrest which broke out in the Valley after the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016, not only dropped the arrival of tourists to Kashmir, but Bollywood crews too avoided the Valley. 
While in the post-unrest era, Kashmir has been struggling for a bounce back as a preferred tourism destination, arrival of Bollywood crews, as per tourism players, is the first major hope for revival.

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Despite turmoil Bollywood continues shooting in Kashmir


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