While Rahul Dholakia's "Lamhaa", a telescopic look at militancy and other problems plaguing the Kashmir Valley, didn't release there because of the current turmoil, pirated DVDs nevertheless made their way into markets. Some top Kashmiri leaders have apparently watched the film and invited Dholakia to visit the state.
"Though prominent politicians and ordinary Kashmiris have watched 'Lamhaa' on spurious DVDs, I'm grateful they saw the film. Front-page articles are being written in Kashmir's papers. And I've been invited to visit the Valley," Dholakia told IANS.
The filmmaker, however, doesn't want to reveal any names for fear that the politicians may be pulled up for viewing "Lamhaa" illegally, especially since there was much hue and cry when some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members watched a pirated copy of "Rajneeti" in Rajasthan.
But unfortunately Dholakia can't go to Kashmir immediately as his father is ailing.
"My parents, who are US-based, flew down to Mumbai for the release of 'Lamhaa'. My father, who is 82, is unwell. I am now torn between looking after him and visiting Kashmir. As soon as my father is well I am off to Kashmir."
Dholakia's "Lamhaa", which earned him good reviews, stars Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Anupam Kher and Kunal Kapoor.
After "Lamhaa", the director has almost completed a social satire called "Society" and is all set to direct a film for Ravi Chopra, again based on a "burning" issue.
But this time the issue is not political. It's about loopholes in the legal system.
Ironically, the Chopras got themselves into a legal tangle over copyright of their latest film "Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai", which was an adaptation of Hollywood film "My Cousin Vinny".
Apparently Dholakia's film is inspired by the Chopras' encounter with legal issues.
Said Dholakia: "Right now it's slightly early to talk about the project. But, yes, it tackles legal issues. I can't comment on whether Mr. (Amitabh) Bachchan is in the film. It is every director's dream to direct him."