Due to its breath-taking natural beauty and unmatched picturesque vistas, Jammu and Kashmir has been a paradise for filming. Veteran line producer Rashmmi Menon discusses her experience filming in Kashmir in this exclusive interview, emphasising that foreign filmmakers can proceed with a recce provided their script matches the screen and location of Kashmir, which is regarded as a secure location to shoot
What about shooting in Kashmir fascinates you as a line producer. What are the benefits of having a movie made in Kashmir?
I have had the opportunity to explore the length and breadth of the region, and I was struck by the beauty of the area. Everywhere I looked, there was stunning natural scenery to behold. I was particularly drawn to the rawness and ruggedness of nature in the region, which gave me a sense of adventure and exploration. As I travelled to the interior areas of Kashmir, I noticed that there weren’t many people around. This allowed me to appreciate the solitude and quietness of the area.
What made my experience in Kashmir truly special was the hospitality and warmth of the people. While taking a stroll in nature, random people would invite me to their homes for a meal or a cup of tea after striking a conversation with me. This allowed me to immerse myself in the local culture and connect with the people of Kashmir on a deeper level.
How do you introduce Kashmir to a foreign filmmaker… if there is a script that meets the screen and the location is in Kashmir, can they go ahead and plan a recce? Is it a safe place to film?
Yes. Their script will include a location breakdown, and after reading the synopsis and their requirements, I will be able to pinpoint and specify exactly where they can film.
Is Kashmir a safe area to film?
Yes, it is completely safe. I went there on a recce as a lady for the first time and kept returning. Not only does the Indian army do an excellent job of securing its borders, but the people of Kashmir take hospitality extremely seriously and look after tourists properly because it is their livelihood.
What role and contribution will you make as a line producer in making the film shoot in Kashmir?
Organising sites and obtaining the necessary approvals.
What kind of incentives does Kashmir provide?
25% of total money spent or INR 10 million, whichever is less.
What kinds of scripts do you think might work well in Kashmir?
Music videos, action shows, and romance, of course. It’s all about love in Kashmir.
Which according you are the top 10 shooting locales in Kashmir?
Srinagar, Doodhpatri, Sonmarg, Gulmarg, Chatpal, Aharbal, Gurez Valley, BangusValley ,Drung, Botapathri, and Tangmarg.
Give some examples of the work that you have done in Kashmir?
I have done a couple of local music videos and a shoot for a series for a prime entertainment channel. Also a feature film work in progress.
Tell us about your distribution services offered by your company
A Su Re Production based out of Mumbai are a distribution company for all your major Bollywood films (now branching into South Indian blockbusters). The partner company based out of Rotterdam is called Lax Cinema.
We distribute our films all over Mainland Europe and our absolute recent releases are: Kerala Story, Fawad Khan’s film MoneyBack Guarantee, Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ka Jaan, Norway vs Chatterjee, etc. A Su Re Production also buys and sells non-theatrical rights for major satellite and OTT platforms as well.