Within weeks of the first part of this interview, Hussein Khan has made progress, besides getting the certification for his film “Kashmir Daily’ he is in the process of reaching his goal. Now it is a matter of time, he says before his dream would come true.
Excerpts from an interaction with Rajesh Prothi
You are a filmmaker. Was this a choice or the hand of destiny?
Films were with me fromsince childhood. You can say that it was part of destiny. But the story does not end with this statement. There were some energies, which made me stay focused with this art form and also there was ample encouragement and hard work, which went in. The message I would like to give is that while it was destiny, without hard work and focus, I would not have achieved what I have today.
How did the idea of ‘Kashmir Dairy’ happen>
Being in TV journalism for over eight, I have faced many professional hurdles and very well understand the problems being faced by the journalists in Kashmir. When I was planning to make a film, but of course, I took the subject of journalists and the problem which Kashmir is facing. The menace of drug addition and unemployed youth of Kashmir became the story line of this film.
In 2012, I planed the movie and went on the floor in September 2013 with a small team of artists and technicians. I am thankful to the God, that I was able to put together a team of very dedicated and talented people. Every one worked more than what they were supposed to. The teamwork paid off, the film was completed by June 2016. We got the CBFC certification on 2nd June 2016.
While making this film, what kind of challenges did you face?
The whole journey had its set of challenges. The biggest challenge being ‘the funding’ for the film. While the team was quite accommodating, the funds were mostly required for hiring the state-of-the-art equipment, travel, boarding and lodging. Some how, I along with my team was able to finish the film, which is now ready for release. Releasing a film, in itself is a big financial challenge. I am sure like in the past, this will also pass and soon we will be able to release this film.
What do you want to achieve with the release of this film?
We are trying to do a Pan-India release. With the release of this film, we will be able to claim that the foundation stone for Kashmir film industry has been laid. God willingly, it will happen. This will be the beginning of a new era for the cinema in the State and will open the doors of our own film industry and artists, technicians, scriptwriters, lightmen and many more. This will be a new industry which will create job opportunities in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
Besides films what interests you.
Beside film making … I think filmmaking is the only interest I have. I think I can’t do anything except filmmaking
In your film you have picked up a very sensitive issue which is plaguing the Valley today. According to you what are two most important factors, which have been responsible for such an impasse?
‘KASHMIR DAILY’ is a story of a journalist whose aim is to expose wrong doings of certain people, highlight the truth and cover the true stories involving public interest. The two most important factors, which are responsible for such an impasse, are unemployment and the people who are opportunist or whom we called white collared men who for their interest use the unemployed youth.
What efforts do you make in keeping the Kashmiri culture alive?
For a person like me, this can be done through filmmaking and that’s what I am trying to do and will keep doing it until my last day on earth.
You are from the times, when Kashmir was draped in the sufi culture. Do you think that sufisim is dead and over in Kashmir?
I think the roots of Sufism are very deep in Kashmir and it can never die. We have to understand what Sufism is for Kashmir. If you go back in the history, Islam came to this ‘paradise on earth’ through Sufism, so no matter what, sufism will remain alive as long as a single Kashmiri is alive. The roots of Sufism in Kashmir are as deep as sea, it can be harmed but it can never die.
Kashmir has changed since mid 1980s. As a filmmaker, do you think that the change is permanent or you see a light of ray?
Old Kashmir will bounce back. If the changes are for the betterment of Kashmir, the Kashmiri will welcome it, but if it in any way attempts to damage the roots of ‘kashmiryat’, then it will not be permitted.
If ‘kashmiryat’ is challenged, Kashmiri will bounce back.