Hussein Khan’s movie Kashmir Daily, the first local production to emerge out of the Valley in 45 years, is finally being screened in cinema halls outside the state. Directed, produced and edited by Hussein Khan and starring Mir Sarwar, the movie explores drug abuse and unemployment in Kashmir.
Kashmir Daily will be screened at PVR Sangam in Delhi’s RK Puram, Infiniti Malad PVR at Mumbai, Jammu and a few other Indian cities. However, the movie will not be released in the Valley, which has no operational cinema halls.
Sarwar, who has previously appeared in Bollywood films including Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) and Jagga Jasoos (2017), plays a reporter investigating drug use and joblessness in the movie. The cast includes Khan, Neelam Singh and Zameer Ashai.
The film has been shot in Srinagar in Urdu and Kashmiri, using local talent, and features three songs in both languages. Granted a U rating by the Central Board of Film Certification, Kashmir Daily was being screened at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre in Srinagar last year to raise funds for a wider release.
Speaking to Scroll.in about his plans for the movie at the time, Khan had said, “The public can support us and our years of hard work by watching the film. We can make products for outside markets in the rest of the country, or even the world.” The film attempts to steer clear of well-documented aspects of Kashmir, the potrayal of which either focuses on the ongoing political conflict or its tourism offerings. “We have tried to show the inner Kashmir, shooting the film in unexplored interiors of the valley, its lanes and by-lanes,” Khan had said.
The first Kashmiri film was Jagjiram Pal’s 1964 movie Mainz Raat, but there have been hardly any local productions since. The last Kashmiri film to get a theatrical release outside the region was Shayar-e-Kashmir Mehjoor in 1972.