Srinagar: A short film to revive tourism in Jammu and Kashmir is touching hearts and making waves on the internet. Within 72 hours, the film Warmest Place On Earth had clocked over five million views on social media. The five-minute-long video is aimed at changing the perception that Kashmir valley is unsafe for tourists. It showcases Kashmiri hospitality and how every person in the valley welcomes tourists.
"When there are apprehensions about visiting Kashmir, we thought this heart-warming film would probably help to change some perceptions," said Jaibeer Ahmad, producer of the film.
The film is about a young couple on their first visit to Kashmir. They are welcomed by a stranger in Srinagar who makes their trip a memorable one. The song Sahibo has been written by Shah Faesal, a 2010 Indian Administrative Service exam topper, and sung by Kashmiri Pandit girl Vibha Saraf and her Muslim friend and musician Mudasir Ahmad.
"It emphasises a lot on solidarity of community. Kashmiris as people and community are peace-loving people at heart, and I think the message that has been conveyed here is that we need to focus on positives and happy energy of the place and cultural heritage we have," said Vibha Saraf.
Soon after the film's release, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made her debut on Twitter with the video. It was quickly followed by Bollywood stars who shared the video widely.
"Primary problem confronting this destination is the negative perception and if you have to take this problem head on we had to come with a very strong message," said Mehmood Shah, director of Kashmir tourism.
Tourism was badly hit after the 2016 unrest in which over 100 civilians were killed and thousands were injured. The film has come at a time when the valley is limping back to normalcy and tour operators are hoping for a revival.