Kashmir rekindles tryst with Bollywood

With the government making all-out efforts to woo Bollywood to revive Kashmir’s link with the Hindi film industry, the tourism sector is hopeful that more Bollywood crews would shoot in the Valley in the winter months.

After the completion of the first shooting schedule of “Sargoshiyan”, which was the first crew to have come here after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s meetings with several Bollywood bigwigs in Mumbai last month, the Tourism Department has started getting some response from Bollywood. “Sargoshiyan” stars Shahbaz Khan, Sara Khan and Fareeda Jalal.“The crew of ‘Sargoshiyan’ completed its weeklong shooting schedule on Monday and we are currently getting many queries from Bollywood.

We are hopeful that more crews will shoot in Kashmir in winter,” said In charge Director, Tourism, Mahmood Ahmad Shah.During his Mumbai visit, Mufti had urged Bollywood to “rediscover the Valley through its lenses and become its brand ambassadors” as film shootings used to be a regular affair in Kashmir before the eruption of militancy around 25 years back. By inviting Bollywood, the state government is looking forward to an increase in tourist footfalls besides generation of economic activities.Producer of “Sargoshiyan” Imran Khan said he decided to shoot in the Valley after Mufti’s invite to Bollywood. As the crew is likely to come for another shooting stint in January, Khan said other Bollywood producers and directors too were now planning to shoot in Kashmir.Earlier in February, the “Fitoor” crew that included popular stars like Katrina Kaif and Rekha had shot in the Valley. Pertinently, after shooting for “Bajrangi Bhaijan” in May, Salman Khan had batted for Kashmir tourism by tweeting: “Kashmir bahut ameer (rich) in natural beauty… Maashallah Maashallah…. Flood Kashmir with only tourism, tourism, tourism.”Among other big stars, Saif Ali Khan had shot for “Phantom” in the Valley last year while Shahid Kapoor and Tabu for “Haider” in 2013.

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