Srinagar: In a bid to restore tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir, the state government in collaboration with the department of tourism, has initiated a new ‘tourism campaign’ and launched a short film, titled ‘the warmest place on earth’.
The short film is based in Kashmir, and seeks ‘to overcome negative publicity by Indian media’. The event was inaugurated here in Tagore Hall, in the heart of Srinagar, last evening. According to tourism department officials, the event is organized to generate a new impetus to tourism sector in the state through visual medium.
Mohammad Hussain Malik, commissioner secretary tourism in the state, while speaking at the event said, “Kashmir is famous for religious harmony, brotherhood and spirituality, it is the land where Nund Reshi is revered by Hindus and Lala Ded by Muslims.”
He further added that ‘this short film is a great initiative to counter negative publicity which Indian media has generated against Kashmir over the years’.
Jaibeer Ahmad, founder of Rome pictures also a campaigner of Kashmir tourism while speaking on the occasion said, “Kashmir is the warmest place on earth, that’s what our short film is all about, we have created this short film just to remove the wrong perception in the minds of those who want to visit Kashmir.”
He further said in an emotional tone, “this movie is a filmmaker’s delight; there are millions of such stories around in Kashmir, which need to be shown to rest of the world, this movie is just a representation to counter negativity against Kashmir. Through this short film, we want to give a message that Kashmir is safe”.
With duration of 4 minutes and 59 seconds, Ahmad with his crew has created this short duration movie in two months time. The short film is based in Kashmir and the plot revolves around the true hospitality of Kashmir. The film is directed by Amit Sharma.
The Film is Produced By Chrome Pictures and The Producer is Poonam Wahi.
“This film is what it is only because of the way Amit Sharma envisioned it. The team scouted kashmir 3 times, to find the correct places to shoot. Amit left no stone unturned. He casted in 4 cities for over 2 months. Amit wanted nothing but the best for this film,” said Poonam, while speaking to the FreePressKashmir.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, after launching the short film congratulated the production team of the film, “you have shown the world what Kashmir is in reality, this movie will definitely help us out against the wrong perception created by some media channels,” she said.
Mufti said, “same youth who once pelted stones came to the rescue of injured jawans who had met with an accident.”
“With one negative incident there are so many positive things which take place. When Amarnath Yatris meet with an accident, a Kashmiri is the first one to rescue them. When an army vehicle meets with an accident, it is the same Kashmiri who steps out to save them, who might have once pelted stones on them,” the chief minister added.
She believes there is total aggression in the Indian media, which portrays a negative image of Kashmir, ‘but the true Kashmir is what Jaideep has shown us today through this film’.
“I feel as a soul of the film, this is the soul of Kashmir and hospitality. I don’t look at Kashmir through Indian media channels, but look Kashmir though our hearts and souls,” said Bashir Bhawani, who plays an important role in the film.
Bashir Bhawani is the principal of EKTA School of theater and drama. Bhawani further believes that after this short film, the total perspective of Indian media will get diluted.
The event was attended by various hoteliers and tourism travel players of the state.
However some of the travel players commented in a dismal tone after the initiation of the new tourism campaign by J&K government. “I don’t think that this short film will help us out from the negative publicity, there are thousands of such documentaries available of youtube, which depict the aesthetic part of Kashmir in a more better way, this is foolish step,” claims a tour operator on the condition of anonymity.
Another travel player, who wished to not be named asserted that “these are just money minting events, these events won’t help us much, what we had suggested to the tourism department was to start a tourism cell to counter negative publicity by Indian media. This 5 minutes of film wont counter negative publicity which has been generated aggressively by Indian channels, we have to counter their stories in real time, not this way.”
On the other hand some of the tourism players appreciated the move.
President Domestic tour operators association, Hamid Wangnoo while speaking to Free Press Kashmir appreciated the efforts.
“I appreciate the efforts of these filmmakers and the department of tourism for producing such a wonderful piece of work. It truly reflects the true hospitality of Kashmiris and I wish such steps should be taken in future also, so that the negative propaganda of Indian media would be countered judiciously,” he said.
Nasir Shah, head of the travel association, while patting the back of team of film makers and tourism department stated, “this is something good, it will surely help. It has a feel of hospitality, it carries a good message about Kashmir,” he said.
The event was attended by various dignitaries like Nayeem Akhter, Minister of social works, Anjum Fazil, Rohit Bhansal, VC JKTDC, Ex Director General Mohmammad Ashraf Bakhtoo and others. The event was hosted by RJ Nasir Ali Khan of 92.7 Big Fm.