Bollywood resumes its honeymoon with Kashmir

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By Suhail

Srinagar, Apr 11 : Bollywood filmmakers are once again making a beeline to the Kashmir valley and movie stars can be seen singing, dancing and coyly flirting in the region's idyllic Himalayan countryside.

The filming of the Bollywood film "Sadiyaan" has brought back a rush of nostalgia for Kashmiris who feel that Bollywood films are incomplete without some of the beautiful locales of the State being incorporated.

Director Raj Kanwar has set the trend by shooting a Bollywood film in Kashmir after the nearly two decade.

"I was always keen to shoot a film in Kashmir and exploit its beautiful locales. Since I started directing movies in Bombay, this is the first time that I got to deal with a subject like peace, friendship and suffering of the people in the film titled 'Sadiyaan'," said Raj.

The actors of the film were seen shooting at the Tulip Garden, with the heroine seen in the midst of a sea of flowers.

Raj Kanwar added that the film titled "Sadiyaan" meaning 'Decades' is based on the return of peace in Kashmir and will send a positive signal both within and outside the state.

The film has a glittering star cast of veterans including Rekha, Hema Malini, Rishi Kapoor and newcomer Luv Sinha (Shatrughan Sinha's son).

The movie marks the debut of Luv Sinha and another starlet Ferena who incidentally hails from Kashmir and is also making her cine debut with this film.

The residents in the valley are excited over the return of the Bollywood dream factory which in its heydays during the '70s and '80 saw several mega hits like 'Kashmir Ki Kali', 'Kabhi Kabhi' being shot in the exotic locations of the valley.

"It is our good fortune that after a span of 20 years, the Mumbai film industry has resumed shooting here. The residents should persuade the film units to come and shoot here. This will bring in profits for the government and for us," said Gulzar Ahmad, a resident.

Prior to the time when militancy struck the valley, Bollywood wove its celluloid dreams in the sylvan settings of Kashmir which was one of the most sought after destinations and filmmakers were saved from going abroad for verdant expanses and snow covered mountains for their outdoor shoots.

Militancy also resulted in cinema halls downing shutters across the state.

But with normalcy returning to the Valley, Bollywood filmmakers are heading back to the state, aptly dubbed the paradise on earth.

The Kashmir Government has been making an earnest bid to woo back Bollywood's movie czars to the Kashmir valley.

Filmmakers said that there has been a noticeable change in the ground situation. Noted film producers Ramesh Sippy, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Manmohan Shetty, Ashok Tahkaria and Ramesh Toorani, all members of the Federation of Indian Commerce and Industry say that they found the State Government keen to revive Kashmir's tourism industry and endorsed the idea that Bollywood could play an important role towards achieving this.

ANI

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