In a first, the cast of Bollywood movie ‘Welcome to Karachi’ that is set to hit the theatres on May 28, started the promotion of the film from Kashmir. The promotional event in valley was organized even as valley has no cinema theatres.
The event has come days after J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed hosted a dinner for the film industry in Mumbai.
“We thought this is the beautiful place and we can do a good start from here and move forward,” said Vashu Bhagnani, one of the producers, who along with his cast addressed a press conference in Srinagar. “We are happy to arrive in valley and do the first promotion for the movie which no one ever would have thought.”
When asked whether it was a conscious decision to choose Kashmir for movie promotion, since Karachi name has strong appeal in Kashmir, Vashu said no. “Karachi is the only the name of movie and tomorrow it could be any other name,” he said. “If tomorrow, we make a movie welcome to Tokyo, we will again come here and promote the movie.”
Commenting on the theatres, which are occupied by the security forces in the valley and are not functional, Vashu said that he would take up the issue with the state government so that measures could be taken for their reopening in Kashmir.
“We will discuss with the state government about this issue,” he said. “From the film fraternity, we have Inox, PVR, and adlabs and each one will be given a theater here so that can make a good theater. We want that in next five years, 50 promotions should take place.”
Jackky Bhagnani, who is one of two actors in the movie, said that the promotion is just a beginning and more film crews should arrive in Kashmir and promote films. “Hopefully theaters will open and people here can get work in the films,” Jaccky said.
Giving details about the story of the movie, Jackky said that the movie is entirety a comedy film, in which two innocent people leave from Gujarat in a boat, which sinks due to some reasons. “After swimming, they somehow reach to the shore, releasing that they are in India. But, in between all this they reach Karachi. They are so innocent, that they even don’t know what and how to talk infront of the people,” he said. “And in all these situation humor gets created. And then, an intelligence officer, the role of which has been played by Lauren, thinks that these two people are very dangerous and she follow the two men. We have tried to entertain the audience with this story.”
Lauren Gotlieb, who is playing the role of an intelligence officer in the movie, said that she was so happy to be in Kashmir. “People are loveable here, the kind of hospitably we have received here from the people,” she said.
Commissioner Secretary Tourism, Shailendra Kumar said that the promotion of the movie will send a good message to the people outside. “This is the first occasion that promo of any movie has started from Srinagar.It is a good thing that promotion of a movie starts from Kashmir, because it will send a good news to outside world,” he said. “It will also help us in perception management.”
Kumar also claimed that 50% of people in Kashmir are directly or indirectly involved with the tourism industry.
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