New Delhi: "Hamid" director Aijaz Khan is ecstatic that his film, set against the backdrop of terror in Kashmir, has won two National Film Awards, but says he is heartbroken for being unable to share the winning moment with child actor Talha Arshad Reshi, who lives in that region, owing to lack of communication.
The film explores an unlikely bond between an eight-year-old boy and a CRPF trooper and has been named Best Urdu Film. Child actor Talha, who hails from Kashmir, has won the Best Child artist award, which he shares with PV Rohith (Kannada), Sameep Singh (Punjabi) and Shrinivas Pokale (Marathi).
The win for the Kashmir-set film comes at a time when the region has become a topic of discussion after the government's decision to scrap Article 370.
"I am thrilled. Given the current scenario, I don't want to get into the political side of things, but I am thrilled that my film won an award. It is great and brilliant. I have been trying to reach Talha, the little boy who played Hamid but I just can't get through to him or his father's phone number," Aijaz told IANS.
Isn't it heartbreaking that you can't share the moment with him?
"Yes, that's true," he said.
The film tells the story of how a boy named Hamid forms a relationship with a CRPF trooper and how it helps them find redemption and closure through dialogue and conversation. The film has been shot entirely in Kashmir and the eight-year-old protagonist is a local Kashmiri boy. It also stars Rasika Dugal in a crucial role.
Winning the award, Aijaz feels his hard work has paid off well.
"It has paid off. Even if the film didn't win the award, working on 'Hamid' opened up a new side of Kashmir before me. Being there has opened my eyes," the director said, adding that he wants to dedicate the win to his parents.