The directorial debut of actor Aamir Bashir's "Harud" is competing
for Muhr Asia Africa awards at the seventh edition of Dubai
International Film Festival (DIFF) and the director says festivals
are the only way to reach a wider audience.
"This is the only Indian feature film that is in the competition
for Muhr Asia Africa awards here. The first run has been good so
far, let's see how far we can take it," Bashir told IANS in an
The actor-director, who is from Kashmir, wielded the megaphone to
tell the story of Rafiq, who is struggling to come to terms with
the loss of his elder brother Tauqir, a tourist photographer. The
film shows Tauqir as one of the thousands young men who
disappeared since the onset of insurgency in the valley.
After an unsuccessful attempt to cross the border and reach
Pakistan to become a militant, Rafiq returns home to an aimless
"Harud" (Autumn) is competing with 16 other films from across the
world. Bashir says he chose the festival circuit to reach to a
much wider audience.
"For a film like this, it is difficult to find distributors...
this is my way of reaching a wider audience. You can reach to the
masses only if you are marketing the film properly. In my case, if
I release the film in the metros with 10 or 15 prints, the number
of people who will see it would be much less than those who see it
"Everywhere there would be audiences from different nationalities
that won't have knowledge about Kashmir. So, for me, festivals
provide a wider audience. Of course, there are no monetary
returns. As a first time filmmaker, this is the only way I can
show it to more people," said Bashir.
Bashir maintains that though he hasn't lived in Kashmir in the
last 20 years, he knows the place much better through his friends
and those who are struggling even today.
"I have not tried to tell the story sentimentally at all. But the
point is this is the story I know best because I am personally and
emotionally affected. Though I have not lived in Kashmir in the
last 20 years, my family is there, connections are there. This is
the story I know well enough," said Bashir.
Bashir is looking forward to release the film commercially some
time next year.
Among other Indian films, short film "Khule Darwaze" ("Open
Doors") by debutant director Ashish Pandey and documentary "Inshallah,
Football" by Ashvin Kumar will be screened in the Muhr Asia Africa
The line-up of other Indian movies at the gala include Malayalam
director Shyamaprasad Rajagopal's "Elektra", Bengali filmmaker
Aparna Sen's "Iti Mrinalini", Telugu filmmakers Krishna DK and Raj
Nidimoru's "Shor" and Tamil director Prabhu Solomon's "Mynaa".
The eight-day festival started Sunday and it will conclude Dec 19.