Updated: May 18, 2015 5:31:07 pm
Director Kabir Khan feels Salman Khan‘s presence in Kashmir for “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” shooting will send out a strong message that the Valley is safe for movie shootings.
“Of course, the place is ready (for Bollywood). There are problems… I am not saying there are no problems, but it is ready,” Khan told reporters here, 85 kms from Srinagar.
The director said the place needs some infrastructural improvements but that is a countrywide problem and not unique to Kashmir.
“Yes, there can be improvements. Sometimes, we feel that we lack internet speed here as our work depends on that. Sometimes we feel the roads could be better. There is some infrastructure problem, but that is a problem all over the country,” Kabir said.
The director is confident that the shooting of a big budget Bollywood movie is a sign of how things have improved after decades of violence.
“The fact that Salman Khan comes to Kashmir and shoots for 40 days, this is a huge signal and message going out that things are normal. If Salman can shoot for forty days in Kashmir, then anybody in the industry can come and shoot in Kashmir,” he said.
The film has been shot in Pahalgam, Aru, Sonamarg, Thajwas and Zojila.
The director, who previously made “Ek Tha Tiger” with Salman, said it was surprising to see no cinemas in the Valley where there are many fans of Bollywood.
“We would love to release the movie here. (But) it is surprising that there is no theatre,” Kabir said, adding the government should do something to change that.
“They (government) are definitely extending their vision to getting Bollywood to shoot in Kashmir. They have announced single window clearances. But along with that, definitely open cinema theatres.”
Asked about the alleged negative portrayal of Kashmir in Bollywood movies in the past, he said his film has a very positive story.
“No, absolutely not (the film is not negative). I think any Bollywood filmmaker will say no to that. You are saying that in the sense that there will be negative portrayal of Kashmir. Definitely not. What we are trying to portray, as I said, it is a very very positive story,” he said.
Kabir said the film, whose teaser trailer will be launched in a week, deals with human relationships set against the political backdrop of the sub-continent.
“The film is trying to deal with certain negative politics that all of us are victims of, that all of us face today and the film is an attempt to try in a very nice, heartwarming, humorous and engaging manner to narrate a story that overcomes this,” he said.
Bollywood’s footfall has increased over the years with Shah Rukh Khan’s “Rockstar”, “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”, “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”, “Haider” and “Fitoor” being shot in the Valley.
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