Filmmaker speaks of huge challenges as Kashmir film tours UK
London, Feb 09: The writer-director of a new film set in Kashmir has spoken of the huge challenges in the filmmaking process as its UK tour concluded this week.
Ashvin Kumar said ‘No Fathers in Kashmir’ was born out of an urge to address some of his deep concerns over the conflict-torn region and to connect emotionally with its heart.
“I became deeply concerned with the crisis of passion in India and Pakistan and the rest of the world over the issue, as complexities were being squeezed into tweets, and I really wanted to connect emotionally with the heart of Kashmir,” said Kumar, who also plays a key character of Arshid in the film.
“The film was mostly filmed in Kashmir, which came with some huge challenges as we shot amid curfews and lockdown,” he said, following one of the final UK screenings in London on Thursday.
The film centres around the character of teenager Noor, played by UK-based actress Zara Webb, as she visits her birthplace of Kashmir with her mother and finds herself getting drawn into the entanglements of the region.
It was released in India with heavy edits last year before the uncut version finding its way to UK screens across heavily South Asian populated hubs such as Bradford, Manchester and Leeds as well as London, including as a collaboration with the UK Asian Film Festival.
The film, described as a coming-of-age tale about innocence, is based on hundreds of true stories, according to Kumar – an Oscar-nominated and National Award-winning filmmaker.
“The ability to imagine a way out of despair is what makes us human. ‘No Fathers in Kashmir’ works on the premise that forgiveness and hope are vital to our survival as a species,” he notes in reference to his latest film, a five-year-long project.
After its UK tour, which has generated some positive reviews, ‘No Fathers in Kashmir’ is expected to be released on an online platform in the coming months.