I aim to tell the story of Kashmiri youth: ‘Laila Majnu’ director

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Mumbai, Sep 4 (IANS) Debutant film director Sajid Ali, the brother of prolific filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, who is all set to release his film “Laila Majnu” says through the film, he wants to tell the story of the youth of Kashmir that goes beyond the cliché shown in mainstream Bollywood cinema.

Considering the fact that telling the story of love is not a genre he is naturally inclined to, he was asked about what made him co-write and direct a film like a classic love story of “Laila Majnu.” Sajid told IANS in an interview: “I aim to tell the story of Kashmiri youth. Setting the film ‘Laila Majnu’ in Kashmir gives me a chance to do that. Of course, the place holds an old world charm that goes perfectly with the theme of the story. But I wanted to tell the story of the people over there beyond the touristy view that has been projected by Bollywood regarding Kashmir.”

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The film director, who is married to a Kashmiri girl from Srinagar, has an insider’s view of the place, its culture and people. Through the film, Sajid said, he has tried to capture the nuance of that.

“A normalcy really exists in Kashmiri household that has not been represented in mainstream cinema. In Bollywood, we either show how the youth of Kashmir are turning into militants, how the military attacks happen or some snapshots of snow-capped Kashmir Valley. But there are more human stories, where two generations co-exist in the same city.

“The generation gap is more visible in a Kashmiri household than that of any urban city, maybe. I wanted to capture those fine distinctions. I wanted to take a closer look at the youngsters of the valley,” said Sajid.

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The story of “Laila Majnu” is co-written by Imtiaz Ali and produced by Ekta Kapoor and Preety Ali.

The film introduces two new actors Tripti Dimri and Avinash Tiwari as Laila and Majnu.

Asked about the reason behind choosing new faces for the film, Sajid said, “I wanted to bring a fresh perspective in the film… So that when audiences go to the theatre, instead of watching a star playing the character of Laila, they see an unknown face narrating the character, which gives a better image connection.”

“Laila Majnu” is slated to release on September 7, 2018.

–IANS

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