Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi creates a Kashmir montage, produced by Kent RO.
Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi highlights the Kashmir issue.
Kashmir has mesmerised millions of people the world over with its inimitable scenic beauty. With picture perfect snow-clad mountains, steep valleys, rich flora and fauna, and flowing rivers, Kashmir undoubtedly is an epitome of mystic beauty. Of late, however, Kashmir — fondly known as ‘paradise on earth’ — has lost its charm due to continued terrorism and political turmoil.
To bring back the glory of Kashmir and let visitors rejoice in the wonderful memories of the land, Bollywood legends Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini, have come together to spread the message of oneness through a short film — ‘Vaadi-e-Kashmir’. The film, produced by water purifier brand KENT RO Systems, showcases the warmth, oneness, and love that we ‘Indians’ share with Kashmir and its people and gives us a way to celebrate it as a nation.
Conceptualised by Praveen Kenneth, Chairman, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, the film has been directed by famous Bollywood filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar while musical trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has composed the music for the six-anda-half-minute-long video.
The film opens with an introduction by Amitabh Bachchan in his rich baritone followed by Amir Khusrau’s famous couplet “Agar Firdaus bar roy-e zamin ast, hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast” (If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it
The film has been directed by famous Bollywood filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar. “Singularly, the idea was to build bridges between Kashmir and the rest of the nation, as that’s the only way to start any meaningful progress. So, we were critical to ensure it doesn’t end up becoming a tourism ad,” PRAVEEN KENNETH
is this) describing Kashmir’s beauty. What follows are sights across the region as a group of youngsters travel through the land.
The background score in Urdu, written by the legendary poet, lyricist, and film director, Gulzar, “Chal chalenge char chanaaron se milenge... Aye Vaadi-e-Kashmir baharon se milenge”, touches an emotional chord and is meticulously woven into the ad film. The video ends with Hema Malini urging every Indian to come together as one nation and send love and affection to the Kashmiris by writing messages and posting Kashmir stories through www.dilsekashmir. com — a website launched as part of this campaign.
“We do a lot of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities. We thought Kashmir, as a subject, will bring about a change in the minds of the people and that is how this film was conceived. So, this is not at all an ad campaign or a brand film, but rather a CSR initiative and we are not spending any money for its promotion. One should not relate this film to Kent RO except for the fact that it was produced by the brand,” says Mahesh Gupta, Chairman, Kent RO.
“In this film, Hema Malini is not seen as the brand ambassador of Kent RO, but as an Indian for whom Kashmir holds a special place in her heart. Amitabh Bachchan is not the brand ambassador and we haven’t paid him for his valued contribution to the film; because of his love and affection for Kashmir, he volunteered to be part of this campaign,” Gupta adds.
The film was released by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on various online platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. The ad shows Kashmir through the eyes of tourists, something similar to the Rajasthan or West Bengal Tourism ads. So afaqs! Reporter asked Kenneth — unlike the other state tourism campaigns this film has no single brand ambassador, why?
He responded, “This was meant to be a CSR initiative to create awareness about Kashmir. Its purpose is not to sell Kent RO purifiers. And nowhere is a purifier being sold. (Mahesh) Gupta and I believe there is a solution for Kashmir if we have the right intention to find it and the first solution is to get people to know each other and get closer. Nothing in this entire project seems force fitted or trying to change the world.
“Singularly, the idea was to build bridges between Kashmir and the rest of the nation, as that’s the only way to start any meaningful progress. So, we were very critical to ensure it doesn’t end up becoming a tourism ad,” he adds.
Shooting the film was quite a challenge as the crew had to get into Kashmir just two days after the Amarnath Pilgrims were shot. “The situation was very very tense and (Pradeep) Sarkar had a crew of 100 people flown in to ensure we finish this in 10 days. It was a logistical nightmare to get this up and running. We had to drive through known terrorist-prone areas. But we had to do it. The weather was getting worse, but the place and most importantly, the warmth of the people of Kashmir, made this easy,” informs Kenneth. ■