‘Lamhaa’ screening problematic in Kashmir

May 20th, 2010 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Sanjay Dutt By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, May 20 (IANS) The makers of “Lamhaa”, a film based on Kashmiri militancy, are facing problems in showcasing it to a Kashmiri audience for the simple reason that there are not many proper and operational movie theatres in the valley.

The film is all set for release July 16.

Much as director Rahul Dholakia wants to take the hard-hitting political drama for its initial screening into the valley, there is no way he can do so.

And Dholakia is at his wit’s end.

“‘Lamhaa’ was made for the people of Kashmir. It’s about their life, their anguish and their politics. How can I not show it to the people of Kashmir!” he said.

“The film belongs to them. It is unimaginable for me that the rest of the world would watch ‘Lamhaa’ and not the Kashmiris,” he added.

Dholakia now plans to take the print and projection equipment and screen the film at key centres of Jammu and Kashmir on his own. “There’s no option but to follow an unconventional method to get the film screened in the valley,” he said.

Although several situations and characters in “Lamhaa” are based on real Kashmiri politics, producer Bunty Walia and leading man Sanjay Dutt are learnt to have been advised by their schoolmate Omar Abdullah not to play up the Kashmiri card.

A hush-hush screening of “Lamhaa” is being planned for father and son — Farooq and Omar Abdullah.

Rahul said: “It isn’t as though I’m playing down or distancing myself from the reality of the valley. But considering how volatile the situation is, it’s better not to get any section of Indian politics hostile about our film.”

To de-accentuate the political side of the film, the producer now plans various glamour events connected with “Lamhaa”, including a fashion show featuring Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Kunal Kapoor and Anupam Kher at the forthcoming IIFA awards in Colombo.

The actors in Kashmiri attire will walk the ramp with India’s top models.

Dholakia hopes that they’re not downsizing the film’s powerful message about peace in the valley by glamorising “Lamhaa”.

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