Director: Madhuri Mohindar & Vaishali Sinha

United States/India, 2013, 31min
Format: Digital
Festival Year: 2014
Category: Documentary

Cast: Bhatt Iqbal Majeed & Sheikh Javaid
Crew: Cinematography: Zafar Iqbal, Madhuri Mohindar & Vaishali Sinha, Adri Thakur – Editing: Sarah Friedland, Madhuri Mohindar & Vaishali Sinha – Production: Kashmir – Co-Production: Associated Media – Story Consulting: Richard Wormser – Camera Assistants : Bablu, Shankar

A documentary about being young in Kashmir, one of the most contentious and militarized regions in the world. For two college students Javaid and Iqbal, a childhood rife with curfews, crossfires and crackdowns has given way to a generation questioning their lack of freedom, while carving a peaceful path to their future.

Madhuri Mohindar has directed documentaries exploring immigration, race, and gender. Her films include ‘Can’t Hide Me’ on gender equality commissioned by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust of India, ‘My Kashmir’ about being young in Kashmir – India, and ‘Red Roses’ exploring the lives of South Asian women who come to the United States through marriage and family. Madhuri was a recipient of the Manhattan Community Arts Fund Award for “My Kashmir” which was recently awarded a Special Mention at the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival and is playing at various other festivals. As Multimedia Producer for human rights organization Breakthrough, she has produced award winning documentary and new media campaigns. This includes Restore Fairness for which she directed a series of documentaries, including ‘Restore Fairness’ produced in association with 26 human rights and immigrant rights organizations and ‘Death by Detention’, recipient of a DoGooder TV Nonprofit Video Award – deploying digital outreach, partnerships and DVD toolkits to reach hundreds of thousands. She was also a producer on Breakthrough’s innovative video games ICED: I Can End Deportation and America2049 and is currently producing media and documentaries for Breakthrough’s campaigns on early marriage and sex selection. Madhuri has completed a Masters from the New School and a postgraduate diploma in Social Communication Media from Sophia Polytech.

Vaishali Sinha is the Co-Director/Producer of the award winning documentary feature “Made in India” about the human stories behind the phenomenon of outsourcing surrogate mothers to India, which premiered at the Hot Docs Film Festival. The film premiered on PBS in 2012. “Made in India” is also a case study at Harvard Business School for their class on ethics. Vaishali’s most recent work is an Films from around the world & around the corner! The interactive web video project called “Geeta’s World” about a 21 year old female taxi driver from New Delhi (co produced by Tribeca Film Institute, Mozilla and Ford Foundation). She is currently in production for a new feature on Sex Ed. Some of her other films include “Red Roses” about South Asian women who arrive in the US via family obligations and the 2005 short “Choose Life?” about personal choice and abortion which won her the best narrative at the New School Annual Film Festival, NY. She freelances at Videoline Productions founded by Peabody award winning filmmaker Richard Wormser (Dir: Rise and Fall of Jim Crow). Vaishali has also produced commissioned works for Center for Reproductive Rights, National Latina Institute, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, South Asian organization Manavi and more. In the past she has worked for the Mumbai based women’s rights group Point of View. Vaishali speaks regularly at events and has acted as jury member at film festivals. She is originally from Mumbai, has spent a few years of her childhood in Jammu and Kashmir and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
filmmaker’s note
Having grown up in India, with Vaishali having spent a few years of her childhood in Jammu and Kashmir, we were tired of hearing of violence and abuse in Kashmir. We wanted to hear from the resilient young people in Kashmir whose voices had been marginalized from the mainstream. It was with this in mind that our journey began three years ago at the campus of the University of Kashmir where we met our young protagonists Javaid and Iqbal who came from a generation born into conflict. Like their peers across the Indian subcontinent and the rest of the world, they had ordinary hopes and ambitions, except they were striving to carve out their successes against extraordinary circumstances. After years of conflict, theirs was a land of people scarred by the loss of loved ones, living in a constant state of psychological trauma. While dealing with the scars of the past, they are also grappling with the heavy militarization today. By bringing to light the human stories of these young Kashmiris, it is our hope that our film will open up possibilities of communication, understanding and justice.

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