It’s a Positive Move: ‘Hamid’ Director About Order on Article 370
Hamid’s director Aijaz Khan was in his office watching the announcement of the 66th National Awards live on Friday afternoon when he heard that his film had been selected as the best Urdu film in 2018. Thrilled to bits, Aijaz first shared the news with his family before talking about the win with his cinematographer John Wilmor and actors Rasika Dugal and Vikas Kumar. The only important cast member Aijaz couldn’t get in touch with was Hamid himself, his child actor Talha Arshad Reshi, who’s in Kashmir and could not be contacted till now.
Talha also won the National Award for best child actor for Hamid, an honour he shared with PV Rohith (Ondalla Eradalla), Sameep Singh (Harjeeta) and Shrinivas Pokale (Naal).
“He is in Kashmir, his family is in Kashmir but the phones and all are unreachable. I have sent several WhatsApp messages. If you call it says you can’t get through to the call, it’s barred apparently. Then I sent Facebook messages, so I’ve tried my best to contact him. I hope and I wish it gets conveyed, but if it has they would have definitely called me up, so I don’t think they have got it as yet,” says Aijaz, speaking to me over the phone.
Aijaz tells me that he was regularly in touch with Talha’s father till last week before the lockdown in Kashmir. “Just last week we were just chatting up. When Talha gets any offers for films, he calls me up to ask whether he should accept it or not, he takes guidance basically,” the filmmaker tells me.
Aijaz’s film Hamid is set in Kashmir and is produced by Yoodlee Films. It revolves around a little boy named Hamid who tries to contact his dead father by calling the number 786. He ends up contacting a CRPF jawan and the conversation ends up changing their lives forever.
“This is a positive sign to move forward, it’s been so many years ever since this is going on, so someone had to take this step no matter how harsh it sounds but I think it is the right step and I think in a period of time, maybe 6 months, Kashmiris themselves will realise that yes it is a move forward.”Aijaz Khan, Director of ‘Hamid’ on the Presidential order on Article 370
I ask Aijaz about his thoughts on the government’s recent move to abrogate Article 370 and the filmmaker said that he believes that whatever happens happens for good. “This is a positive sign to move forward, it’s been so many years ever since this is going on, so someone had to take this step no matter how harsh it sounds but I think it is the right step and I think in a period of time, maybe 6 months, Kashmiris themselves will realise that yes it is a move forward, instead of keeping the status quo since so many years and things not just moving. Who wouldn’t want to live in a peaceful manner, who wouldn’t want to earn money, who wouldn’t want to live freely, which is like the most important thing,” answers Aijaz.
Aijaz Khan is currently working on a web series produced by BBC for Hotstar titled Doctor Kapoor and it’s an adaptation of Dr Foster, a BBC One drama television series. “I just loved the way human relations were portrayed in that, so I jumped at it and said I want to do this,” explains Aijaz as we end our conversation.
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