Kashmir's blossoming romance to open Hamburg Film Fest

Delhi - The tale of a blossoming romance in Kashmir will lead the chain of selected movies at the coveted Hamburg International Film Festival in Germany.

Valley of Saints, which won the audience award as well as the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance, will open the Hamburg festival, scheduled to take place from September 27 to October 6, The Mail Online reported.

The movie is a US-India co-production and has been directed by independent filmmaker Musa Syeed. Syeed's parents lived in Kashmir before migrating to the US in the 70s, The Mail Online reported.

The film's cast members, all first-time actors, will be in Germany to attend the screening, the German rights for which have been obtained by Kairos Filmverleih.

The movie is a romance set in Kashmir. The story follows Gulzar (Gulzar Bhat), a boatman on the Dal Lake whose plans to run away from Kashmir with his best friend Afzal (Afzal Sofi) are thwarted when the authorities put the Valley under curfew.

Afzal is from the old city and makes elaborate arrangements to run away from the dismal environment in the Valley and moves to Gulzar's houseboat.

But as fate would have it, the day the friends were to set out, an indefinite curfew is imposed in the state which confines them to the Dal Lake. During the curfew days, Gulzar meets Asifa (Neelofar Hamid), a scientist studying pollution levels in the lake and becomes her guide and takes her around the lake, The Mail Online added.

He falls in love with her, which makes Afzal jealous.

Soon, the day comes when the curfew is lifted. Asifa leaves for the US and Gulzar decides to settle permanently at the Lake to work for environment-related issues.

Afzal met Syeed when he came to explore the region. 'Syeed came here in 2009 for a survey in 2010. When he started the film, he asked me to be his guide and translator.

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