Kashmiri cinema

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Kashmiri cinema is the Kashmiri language-based film industry in the Kashmir Valley of India.[1] The first Kashmiri feature film, Mainz Raat,[2] was released in 1964. Kashmir is a shooting destination for Bollywood films,[3] and Kashmiri actors are well known in Bollywood such as Raj Kumar, Jeevan, Kiran Kumar, Tariq Shah, Sanjay Suri, Rahul Bhat, Amir Bashir, Mir Sarwar to name few of them.[4][5]

1960s to 1980s[edit]

The first Kashmiri feature film, (Mainz Raat, directed by Jagjiram Pal) was released in 1964. In 1972 Shayar-e-Kashmir Mahjoor, a biography of Kashmiri poet Mahjoor, was released. Made in Urdu and Kashmiri, the film was a joint venture of the Department of Information of Jammu and Kashmir and Indian filmmaker Prabhat Mukherjee.[6] Babaji (directed by Jyoti Sarup) followed 39 years, but it was not screened in Kashmir. A 1989 film, Inqalaab, was not released due to the turbulent political situation at the time. Because of the 1989 insurgency, film production in Kashmir was halted and an unofficial screening ban imposed on Bollywood films.[7]

21st century[edit]

Akh Daleel Loolech (Love Story) starring Mir Sarwar, it was the first Kashmiri digital feature film, premiered in India in 2006. Directed by Aarshad Mushtaq, the historical drama explored the Kashmiri people's social and political struggles during the 19th century.[8] In 2012, Kashmir’s first 35mm feature film Partav directed by Dilnawaz Muntazir was released. This movie,[9] Valley of Saints, a romantic drama set near Dal Lake in Srinagar and directed by Musa Syeed, addressed environmental issues surrounding the lake. Kashmir Daily, Mir Sarwar played the leading character in this film, Mir Sarwar has also done several Bollywood films. Kashmir Daily is filmed in Hindi and Kashmiri and produced and directed by Hussein Khan, [10] was scheduled for release in spring 2016.[11]


Four men and a smiling woman
Publicity photo of Kazi Mushtaque Ahmed’s play, Aatish-e-Kashmir

Three television films have been produced in Kashmir:[6] Rasool Mir (1974–75), directed by Bashir Badgami; Habba Khatoon (1977-1978), directed by Bashir Badgami[12] and Arnimaal (1982–83), directed by Siraj Qureshi.


The first Kashmiri film shown at the Cannes Film Festival was Ezra Mir's 1952 documentary, Pamposh (Lotus).[6] Inshallah, Kashmir is a 2012 documentary directed, produced and written by Ashvin Kumar. Other notable documentaries are Papa 2 (2000) and Ocean of Tears (2012).

Cinema closures[edit]

Cinemas in Kashmir, including seven in Srinagar, were closed due to the 1989 insurgency.[13] In 1996, due to efforts by the National Conference government, the Broadway, Regal and Neelam Cinemas showed Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Kareeb. After further attacks, as of 2015 Kashmir cinemas are closed and DVD film piracy is flourishing.[14][15][16]

Revival efforts[edit]

Obstacles to reviving the Kashmiri film industry are the lack of financial and government support.[17] However, in 2014 Kashmiri filmmaker Ali Emran decided to shoot a film in Kashmir based on The Fountainhead.[18] Identity Card- Ek Lifeline (2014) by Kashmiri filmmaker Rahat Kazmi received three awards at the American International Film Festival.[19] In November 2014, the film was released worldwide.[20] According to the Prime Minister of India, reviving the Kashmiri film industry would provide jobs for Kashmiri youth.[21] In May 2015, Salman Khan said during the filming of Bajrangi Bhaijaan which had some actors from Kashmir like Mir Sarwar, Bashir Bhawani etc. that Kashmiri cinemas should be re-opened.[22] Imtiaz Ali praised the state government for encouraging filmmakers in the valley[23] after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed visited Mumbai to meet with Bollywood industry figures.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allen (26 February 2004). "The Kashmiri film industry". ABOUT INDIAN CINEMA. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Akh Daleel Loolech: a reason for Kashmir to celebrate". Merinews. 19 September 1909. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Movies Filmed in Kashmir". Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Kashmiri actors who made it big in Bollywood". daily.bhaskar.com. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Kashmiri actors who made it big!". Zee News (in Latin). 11 September 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Altaf, Sana (23 November 2012). "Kashmir's film industry longs for life". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Stay away from immoral acts, warn terror posters in Kashmir : India, News". India Today. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Kashmir, mon amour - Culture". The Crest Edition. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Exclusive: After 47 years comes Partav, the first Made-in-Kashmir film in 5 decades : India, News". India Today. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Kashmir Daily - A mainstream movie based on Kashmir by a Kashmiri Director, retrieved 11 November 2016 
  11. ^ "Kashmir Daily", The Film, First Of Its Kind In Many Ways – Kashmir Leader". www.kashmirleader.net. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  12. ^ Razdan, Vinayak (26 February 2004). "'Habba Khatoon' of Basheer Badgami, 70s". searchkashmir.org. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Forgotten, Forbidden Cinema Culture Of Kashmir". Jammu-Kashmir.Com Homepage. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Shahid, Mohd. "Cinemas In Kashmir Valley: A Dream For Bollywood & Kashmiris". Koimoi. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  15. ^ SENSEX (15 February 1977). "Kashmir begins to attract Bollywood again; but cinemas still shut due to militancy fears". The Economic Times. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Kashmir to miss out Haider that was filmed in the Valley - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Kashmiri director wants to adapt 'The Fountainhead' into Bengali film". Zee News (in Latin). 14 November 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Kashmiri director wants to adapt 'The Fountainhead' into Bengali film". IBNLive. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "JK film bags American International Film Festival award". JK Newspoint Newspaper Jammu Kashmir. Retrieved 11 August 2015. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Kashmir born Bollywood Director on a mission". kashmirmonitor.in. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  21. ^ "PM spins Bollywood dreams for Kashmir". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Cinema theatres should be re-opened here: Salman Khan praises Kashmir's beauty". Firstpost. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Imtiaz Ali: There is much more to show in Kashmir than violence". NDTVMovies.com. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  24. ^ Now, JandK (1 May 2015). "Mufti hosts dinner for bigwigs of film industry, asks them to rediscover J&K". JandK Now. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 

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