Let peace be upon Kashmir: Inshallah

Let peace be upon Kashmir: Inshallah

National Award winning film maker Ashvin Kumar tells the story of real Kashmir which has been kept away from the rest of India through his film,...

National Award winning film maker Ashvin Kumar tells the story of real Kashmir which has been kept away from the rest of India through his film, "Inshallah Kashmir" letJanuary 26, 2012, Ashvin Kumar's "Inshallah Kashmir: Living Terror" was released online. And on the same day it had 15,000 hits. The investigative film that depicts the scars of two decades of conflict through testimonies of over 40 people whose families have been devastated by the conflict, was recently given the National Award for the best film in the category. "During the making of my other film 'Inshallah Football' I spent around eight months in Kashmir. I was left with 300 hours of footage that I shot during the making of the film," shares Ashvin. The footage later became raw material for the award winning documentary. The young film writer and director and son of popular fashion designer Ritu Kumar, is better known for his Academy Award Oscar nomination for his film, 'Little Terrorist'. His much acclaimed film 'Inshallah Football' based on a young football player who is denied a passport for being a terrorist's son, was initially banned. But after media outcry protesting the ban, it was given an 'A' certificate. The film was finally released on DVD by Enlighten Films in late December 2011, more than a year after its release in the rest of the world. "It is a tragedy that I cannot release my film in my own country. Infact we need to go to international festivals to watch some good independent cinema made in India," says Ashvin. For 'Inshallah Kashmir' he did not wait for the censors and released the film on the net. Now that it has got the National Award, does it say anything �'Nothing! What will I do with the award? What is the point unless it is supported by distribution network? I will be happier if more and more people get to see the film. Film making is a cultural form. We have such great institutions like NFDC and DD; they can make it lucrative for us. Doordarshan can buy good documentaries and award winning films and telecast them. But they are not supporting independent cinema and subsequently we cannot compete with the rest of the world. And when India sends their representatives out of the country, it is usually Bollywood actors with a troupe. It is a waste of challenges and cultural resources despite clear mandate," laments Ashvin who is all for cinema with a purpose. "I am not interested in standing in front of star actors' houses waiting for their dates to do commercial cinema. I am not interested in mainstream cinema. I make films that try to bring in change and highlight issues plaguing humanity and India. If it makes sense and seems meaningful to me, then I am sure it will make sense to the audience. And when I make films, I only wish to make enough money to make my next film," he shares. Coming back to his film he says, "For decades we have been fed on misinformation about Kashmir and its people. The few months that I spent there during the making of my film, changed my perspective. The massive scale of the human rights violation happening in Kashmir, which is a part of democratic secular country, is a shame. I started feeling more and more concerned that the rest of the country is being given a distorted version of the scenario and I wanted to show the real picture." He has not finished�there is so much more to say. "I am planning to make a feature film and a children's film in Kashmir. I will be teaming up with Hyderabadi producer Elahe Hiptoola for my film," he reveals.
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