The 1st Kashmir International Film Festival of short and documentary film took place in December, 2013 at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre on the banks of Dal Lake. I might sound a bit too excited but in reality how many of you were even aware of this event? Not many, I can bet.
I would like to tell you why, but before that let me quote a spectacular soliloquy by Mark Antony from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, after Caesar had been murdered: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.“
Quoting the line is self-explanatory.
Young people resent the fact that when some masked youth take to the streets to pelt stones or brandish flags, national news channels flash the footage for days together. However, the same media ignores any positive developments happening in Kashmir.
We the people from the Valley of Saints and Reshis have had enough adverse publicity through a cynical prism that is challenging our warm ‘Kashmiriyat’ that still defines the Valley.
New Age Kashmir will not let the good of the Kashmiris be lost amidst today’s prime-time TV debate.
Let’s present to you today, Kashmir’s only independent and non-commercial film festival, Kashmir International Film Festival.
Founded with a mission to celebrate the cinema & work of aspiring, young, independent & professional filmmakers. Its aim is to recognize the informative, entertaining & progressive new age cinema of youth & experienced filmmakers.
In Kashmir, where there are no cinema halls, in a bid to revive the dwindling theatre and film culture in the Valley, the first four day Jammu & Kashmir International Film Festival was held in October, 2014, here in the SKICC auditorium in Srinagar.
The purpose of this film festival is to promote new movie makers, exchange of knowledge, information, ideas & culture between different nations in context of their social and cultural ethos. Film is the most democratic art, thus film festivals can help maintain democracy, peace and freedom.
The purpose of our KIFF is sharing. It helps promote friendship and cooperation among people of the world through the medium of films & documentaries.
“Our aim is to organize this Film Festival just to get Filmmakers from across the world to Kashmir and show them what Kashmiriyat really means”
Aamir Rafiq Peerzada – Festival Chairman
While the festival is open to filmmakers of all age, it becomes a great meeting place for all film-makers and audiences who are interested in film as a medium and a tool of social expression. Film festivals create dialogue between people and encourage cultivating the future members of this creative industry.
Besides screening films, a workshop is also organised to make students aware about aesthetics of film-making.
In this hope to revive the dying culture of cinema in the valley a Five-day-long international film festival ‘Kashmir World Film Festival’ kicked off in November, 2017, with the screening of ‘Meanz Raat’ Kashmir’s first full-length feature film made in1964. It has even screened 30 films of different International languages.
The Kashmir shown in news channels and newspapers is just a projection of through a pessimistic glass which is being countered by the youth of the Valley. It’s a source of angst for them that the national media consistently plays to a negative stereotype where Kashmir is concerned.
Kashmiri youth are not all violent stone-pelters, they all-encompassing achievers.
The world media hardly ever mention that.