STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is the powerhouse of positivity and has unmatched artistic prowess, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali on Tuesday announced he will be organising workshops for locals in the union territory to showcase their talents. Ali, known for directing movies such as “Jab We Met”, “Rockstar” and “Love Aaj Kal”, said the aim is to provide a platform to the youth.“We are preparing creative plans and the purpose is to provide a platform to the local youth so that they can get proper exposure. I will also get an opportunity to work with them, learn from them and we are looking forward to a great future,” the 49-year-old director told reporters here.In the workshops, the musicians, dancers, singers and craftspeople would be involved, along with special focus on discarded local musical instruments, he added.Ali said it was always a pleasure to come to the union territory and praised the administration for its various initiatives aimed at empowering the youth. “Art and culture is the powerhouse of positivity and so is Jammu and Kashmir where the visitors are blessed with a lot of positivity… I have been around the world but have never come across artistic talent together at a single place as in Jammu and Kashmir,” the director, who shot parts of his 2011 hit “Rockstar” in Kashmir, said. The union territory is filled tremendous talent and “my message to the youth, especially artistes, is to come forward and express themselves,” he added.“I have come here with a lot of hope. The youth of Jammu and Kashmir should understand that it is he who had to take the initiative to make himself powerful and work for the betterment of their people.“It was always a pleasure to come to Jammu and Kashmir. People who come here are blessed with positivity. When we come for shooting, we need a lot of things and the support of the people and the government, which is always there in Jammu and Kashmir,” Ali said.Responding to another question about the focus of the film industry on Kashmir rather than Jammu, the writer-director said he does not see the two regions as separate units.“It is essential when you start shooting for a film, you do it in a particular area. As you discover new locations, the same are covered as well,” he said, adding that exploring locations in Jammu region would be part of his date with the union territory in future.Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary Tourism, Culture, Youth Services and Sports, who was also part of the event, asserted the government is thankful to Ali for his efforts towards providing a platform to the local youth. “Ali has the distinction of being the one who brought back Bollywood to Jammu and Kashmir after it stopped visiting here due to various reasons and is now part of the government’s efforts to engage with the youth and showcase their talent to the outside world,” he added. Hafeez said Jammu and Kashmir has been known for all the wrong reasons over the past few decades.“There have been a lot of negative stories coming out of Jammu and Kashmir over the past some time. We have a feeling and also know it very well that there are many positive stories which need to be shared with the outside world.
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