By Ashvin KUMAR


Drama - Post-Production 2018

British teenager Noor and Kashmiri local, Majid have each has lost their fathers in sinister fashion. The epic tragedy of a paradise is seen through the playful eyes of love-struck teenagers who, in a poignant search for the fathers they have never known, reveal the murderous ways of state and men.

    • Year of production
    • 2018
    • Genres
    • Drama, True Story, Children's
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 150 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Ashvin KUMAR
    • Writer(s)
    • Ashvin KUMAR
    • Producer(s)
    • Ashvin KUMAR (Alipur Films), Sylvain NAHMIAS (Alipur Films)
    • Synopsis
    • Noor.
      She’s a smart-talking, smartphone-wielding, selfie-obsessed English teenager who lands with reluctant curiosity in a village in Kashmir after 14 years to meet the paternal grandparents she’s barely seen since birth. She’s known, all along, that her father abandoned them when she was two, and she’s made her peace with that knowledge.
      The unlikely friendship she forges with the amiable Majid soon after she arrives is about to change all that. She discovers Majid and her father - along with a reticent and highly-respected local leader Arshid - were inseparable as young men.
      And as a opaque, tightly-masked story of that friendship unravels, so does Noor’s innocent curiosity about her father, as she stumbles on the first in a series of long-held secrets.
      That her father didn’t abandon them but was ‘picked up’ by the Indian army.
      That he is dead.
      And that his closest friend, Arshid, abandoned him to save himself.
      What follows is an impelling quest for answers in which Noor co-opts a reluctant Majid to take her on a journey to where her father was believed to be held captive and died; a dense, dangerous mountain forest on the edge of the Pakistan border; out of bounds to locals.
      What follows is a hair-raising night, elevated through small acts: the finding of young love, the loss of courage, the confrontation of brutality. Noor and Majid find evidence of atrocities committed by the army in the line of duty; evidence Noor captures on her ever-present smartphone. But before they can make their journey home, terror strikes: the young teenage couple are intercepted by an Indian army patrol tasked to guard the sensitive border area and prevent infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan. Majid, initially safe from detection, gives up his own safety to come to Noor’s help - but there’s heartbreak in store for him, entirely separate from the horrors of arrest, violence and thrashings.
      Zainab, Noor’s mother, secures her daughter’s release with the help of her bureaucrat fiancé, but Majid is left behind: bringing clear and present meaning to the term “collateral damage”, as Majid’s amiability comes back to haunt him. 
      The key evidence against him? A series of playful pictures, taken for Noor’s Facebook page - a word he’d never encountered, let along experienced till Noor waltzed into his life - of him holding a gun, dressed as a terrorist, to feed her teenage social media obsession for a ‘selfie with a terrorist’.
      Will Noor let Majid - the boy who sacrificed safety for love - go down as collateral damage?
      No Fathers in Kashmir plays out these complex, dangerous strands with an incredible poignancy. There are no easy answers here, no neat ones, no happy ones. But there can be courageous ones. And those individual acts of courage make up the complex climax of a story in which hope, compassion and forgiveness collide with lies, terror and fear to tell a story our alarmingly xenophobic world needs to hear.