In Jammu and Kashmir, Bollywood is currently seeing a resurgence, and local filmmakers have begun to take the initiative to present Kashmir in a favourable light.
The upcoming release of the film "Welcome to Kashmir," which was almost filmed in north Kashmir, portrays Kashmir's authentic image and showcasing the region's true artistic abilities.
The film is being made by Filmstock Creations and is being directed by young Kashmiri filmmaker Tariq Bhat.Young Kashmiri artists', one from Sopore town and the other from Srinagar, play the important roles in the film as well.
The male character, Ahmad Shahab, 25, from Srinagar, has participated in numerous modelling sessions in addition to music videos, while the female lead, Mateena Rajput, 24, is an actress and model who has appeared in numerous advertising for J&K tourism.
The crew primarily shot in the Sopore neighbourhoods of Watlab, Wular Lake, Rampora Rajpora, and many other locations in Kashmir, including Gurez Valley Srinagar, Tariq Bhat said, adding "Welcome To Kashmir" is the first of its sort to be directed by a Kashmiri and focused on Kashmir.
"Even though it's a Bollywood Hindi feature film on women's empowerment, drug addiction amoung Kashmiri youth, and the genuine image of people and the J&K police force, it is the first of its type to feature almost entirely Kashmiri cast members," he said.
The team began filming in March 2022 at Gurez Valley, and it took them nearly five to six months to finish.
Tariq stated in a message that if Kashmiris want to see genuine changes in this part of the world, then we Kashmiris must take the lead."The film,deals with the true image of Kashmir and demonstrates to the world the true talent of Kashmiri people," he continued.
He said that other bollywood filmmakers are filming here in Kashmir and making movies worth 100 Crore, but every single movie portrays Kashmir in a negative light and Kashmiri people as villains.
While describing the script a team member said that this is a story of a brave girl namely Mateena whose life is dedicated to women empowerment and a fight for their rights and justice.
In this movie the female lead plays a brave girl role, whose life is dedicated to women's empowerment and fighting for their justice. Her passion is to visit every girl's school and college in the country, motivate the girls through her speeches, and give them safety tips. She always believes that women are stronger than men, but because of her give-up nature, she always becomes a victim.
The film starts when the girl visits Kashmir and one of her psycho,drug addicted social media follower 'Zulfi' kidnaps her. Zulfi is under influence of a fake baba who provokes him. The turning point comes when she has to prove her stand about women and fight back.
"In this movie, we try to show how bravely she fights back to save herself and how J&K police force do everything possible to save the girl," a crew member said.
He said that the team also shed light on drugs and fake babas who hypnotize some of kashmiri youth and make them drug addicts.
The film has two songs and duration of the film will be 100 minutes on screen.
"We believe with this entertaining approach we can connect to kashmiri youth as well as the entire world," he added.