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Sadak 2, Vikram Batra Biopic Shooting Schedules in Kashmir Delayed Over Article 370 Abrogation

The abrogation of Article 370 has had a ripple effect on the shooting schedules of several films, including Sadak 2 and Shershaah.


Updated:August 6, 2019, 12:39 PM IST
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Sadak 2, Vikram Batra Biopic Shooting Schedules in Kashmir Delayed Over Article 370 Abrogation
The cast of Mahesh Bhatt's forthcoming film Sadak 2. (Image: Instagram/Alia Bhatt)

Several top actors including Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra were scheduled to shoot in Kashmir for upcoming projects over the next few months, but the repeal of Article 370 has put Bollywood's plans to shoot in Kashmir on hold for now.

On Monday morning, Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Rajya Sabha that the government has decided to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The government also announced its decision to split the region into two Union territories—Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without legislature.

The abrogation of the Article has had a ripple effect on the shooting schedules. 

Sidharth was supposed to shoot for Captain Vikram Batra's biopic Shershaah in the Valley. Directed by Vishnu Varadhan from a story written by Sandeep Srivastava, the movie is backed by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions. According to a source close to the actor, the shooting schedule has now been pushed, with no new date given yet. 

Sadak 2 makers had plans to shoot an important segment of the film in the Valley with Sanjay, Alia and Makarand Deshpande, who essays role of a god-man in the movie. 

The film marks the return of Mahesh Bhatt as director, and he had planned to shoot sequences of the protagonists reaching the god-man's ashram. The shooting is on hold for now. 

Without revealing the names, line producer Md. Abdullah of Hami Asto Productions, who arranges shoots in the Jammu and Kashmir region, said that two to three Bollywood films and one big Telugu movie were slated to arrive over the next few months for shooting. 

"There were some big projects in line—two to three Bollywood films and one Telugu movie. Now, we can't say if that will happen because of the disturbed environment. Maybe they will push the schedule or will go to a different location," Abdullah told IANS. 

"We just wrapped up shoot of the Telugu film Venky Mama, which stars Venkatesh. They shot in Pahalgam and Sonmarg. The month-long shot was wrapped up in June. One big Bollywood film was supposed to start shooting in August-end. They all are stuck now," added Abdullah, who is worried about what the future holds for local line producers like him. 

"Yeh achanak se hua (this happened all of a sudden). Now, it has been done. Inshallah, things will get settled soon. If that doesn't happen, it will be a big problem for us because this is our 'rozi-roti' (bread and butter)," added the line producer, who has worked on John Abraham's Romeo Akbar Walter, Abhishek Bachchan's Manmarziyaan and Arjun Rampal's Final Call in the past. 

The production houses might have to bear additional expenses owing to the shuffle of the schedule, although the amounts will probably not be exorbitant. "There is some unrest and confusion going on in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has taken measures. So, all the planned shoots in the region will be delayed for a while. It will not have much negative impact in terms of cost escalation, because productions of these films were yet to start," film and trade expert Girish Johar said. 

The love affair between Bollywood and Kashmir is long-standing. From Sharmila Tagore to Alia Bhatt, and from late Shammi Kapoor to Salman Khan, Indian actors down the generations have starred in blockbusters that had filmmakers capture the beauty of the region in their films. 

In the recent times, several films such as Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Highway, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Fitoor, Haider, Tubelight, Uri: The Surgical Strike and Kalank were shot in Kashmir. 

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