‘Welcome to Kashmir’ takes center stage, draws massive response at INOX

Audience during the premier of ‘Welcome to Kashmir’ at INOX multiplex on Friday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Audience during the premier of ‘Welcome to Kashmir’ at INOX multiplex on Friday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, May 26: First-ever Kashmiri-produced Bollywood film, “Welcome to Kashmir,” premiered today at Inox Multiplex Cinema here, drawing a massive response from the local audience.

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The movie, which focuses on the challenges faced by the people of Kashmir, particularly the youth, garnered widespread support and filled the theatre to capacity.
Poonam Kaul, one of the attendees, expressed her excitement about the film, stating, “this is the first time we are seeing a movie based in Kashmir. The actors are from Kashmir, and it’s great to witness talented individuals getting a platform to showcase their skills.”
She also highlighted the film’s exploration of various social issues that are often overlooked. “We hope that this movie will spark a debate on these topics for the betterment of our society,” she added.
The film prominently features local actors in lead roles and delves into significant issues plaguing Kashmir, such as drug addiction, women’s empowerment, and the portrayal of the people and the Jammu and Kashmir police force.
Directed by Tariq Bhat, the production was primarily shot in picturesque locations across Kashmir, including Sopore, Watlab, Wular Lake, Rampora Rajpora, Gurez Valley, and Srinagar. Ahmad Shahab and Mateena Rajput play the male and female leads, respectively.
Tariq Bhat, the director, co-wrote the script with associate writer Ashpak Mujawar. The music for the film was composed by Ishfaq Kawa, a talented singer and composer from Baramulla in North Kashmir. Umar Adil was responsible for the casting process.
Vikas Dhar, the owner of the multiplex, expressed his pride in having local talent involved in the entire film production. He believed that this marked a significant milestone and anticipated a future where movie crews would no longer need to import artists from Mumbai but could find everything they need in Kashmir itself.
Firdous Ahmad, an audience member from Rainawari, praised the movie after the show’s conclusion, stating, “It is an exceptional film. The performances were brilliant, and it kept us engrossed throughout. It’s far from an ordinary movie.”