If I was to cast artists from Bombay to play the refugees, the film would lose its authenticity: Vidhu Vinod Choprs on shooting with real Kasmiri Pandits in ‘Shikara’


The trailer of Shikara has left everyone stunned with its gripping storyline which is based on true events.  It is touted to be one of the most anticipated films of 2020, and the direction of Vidhu Vinod Chopra makes it even more special. Shikara director Vidhu Vinod Chopra roped in Kashmiri Pandits to lend authenticity to film revolving around the 1990s exodus from the Valley. A powerful depiction of Kashmir of 1990, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s directorial has struck the right chords amongst the audience. Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra has chosen a subject that stems from a chapter of his life as it is the tribute to his mother.

Explaining his decision on working with real-life Kashmiri Pandit, Vidhu Vinod Chopra says, "Yes, it’s true that I shot with real Kashmiri Pandit refugees for Shikara and the reason was that I wanted the film to look real. If I was to cast artists from Bombay to play the refugees, I felt that the film would lose its authenticity. It was incredibly generous of the inhabitants of Jagti refugee camp and all the other camps that they agreed to be a part of this film and spent days & nights in difficult shooting conditions, all the women, children & even the older inhabitants. But they were more driven than me. If anything, I was inspired by them rather than the other way around. I don't think I could have done this without them."

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Enlightening on shooting with real-life Kashmiri Pandits, "They're real people and that's why they're not performing, they're actually going through an experience that they went through 30 years back. He said, ‘correct, but for me, they’re actors who are performing’ and that was elating. Most of them are from Kashmir because I wanted the film to look authentic and I didn't want a Bombay-face to ruin this menagerie, so to speak."

To lend authenticity to the real-life episode, the director decided to rope in Kashmir-born Aadil Khan and Sadia as the leads, while zeroing in on several Kashmiri Pandits for the principal cast. Shikara, a film by Vidhu Vinod Chopra is all set to release on 7th February 2020. It is presented by Fox Star Studios, produced by Vinod Chopra Productions and co-produced by Fox star studios.

(Source: Agencies)