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Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Kashmir story, Shikara, to be released on 8 November


The producer-director has been working on the project since March 2018, much before the current troubles in his home state.

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Our Correspondent

Vidhu Vinod Chopra is set to mark a return from a long hiatus with his next film, Shikara, on 8 November 2019.

Termed 'a love story from Kashmir', the film has been shot extensively in the northernmost state, with the filmmaker and crew spending time in the region from March 2018. The film will be presented by Fox Star Studios and is produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra Films.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted the news of the film's imminent release yesterday. 

Shikara is Chopra's first directorial feature in Hindi since Eklavya (2007), and first in any language since Broken Horses (2015). Initially titled Love Letters From Kashmir, the film is now called Shikara, the local word for the popular houseboats on Dal lake.

An early report in March 2018 described the film as dealing with the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in the 1990s and the suffering of the displaced. 

A Press Trust of India report from 2018 quoted assistant director Ashiesh Nijhawan as saying, "Most of the actors will be fresh faces. Kashmiris, young and old, males, females and kids, will be hired for the shooting." 

However, the film's context has changed considering the draconian lockdown in Jammu & Kashmir since the beginning of this month, when the state's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution was revoked and a decision was made to partition the state into two Union territories, Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. The shooting of Shikara took place before the current political turmoil.