Renowned film, television & theatre actor Shekhar Suman is set to venture into going behind the camera all over again. Shekhar Suman will now be looking at a very controversial issue of stone-pelters in the Kashmir valley. Titled ‘Pattharbaaz – The Stone Pelter’, the film is a socio-political bilingual film based on real events and is scheduled to go on the floors early next year.
The film will be simultaneously shot in both the languages, English and Hindi. Says actor Shekhar Suman, “The film is a first-person account of a young man who picks up a stone at the age of eight and that sets him on a path of violence which he believes is a freedom struggle. Midway through his fight, after losing his younger brother and best friend, he chooses to turn his life around. But the people who followed him feel betrayed when their leading stone-pelter decides to back out.”
Elaborating on the film, Shekhar Suman adds, “Stone-pelting is a very topical issue with stone-pelters seen to be at the forefront, given the strife and trouble in the Kashmir valley for the past two years. There are several issues here including paid stone-pelters. This issue raises many questions on whether these stone-pelters are paid by external forces or if it’s the youth from the valleys that are disgruntled and upset with the government.”
Shekhar Suman intends to walk the tight rope and maintain a balance telling the story from different perspectives through his film as he feels that both the perspectives are important. There had also been an incidence where the stone pelters have rescued the jawans. He says that in this world there’s no such thing as right or wrong. Everyone has their own point of view of right and wrong so let people decide after watching the film.
Shekhar Suman believes that its primary message is that there is place for harmony and brotherhood in the Valley. “A few of the stone-pelters believe that the real enemy is the Indian army but a few soldiers save them from danger,” adding that the scene was incorporated after he read about some jawans rescuing Kashmiri families during the 2014 deluge in the state, including those of stone-pelters. However, unlike his previous directorial venture, Shekhar will not be facing the camera this time around. “It would have been great to play the protagonist and have another director on board but I don’t want to lose focus. This subject is close to my heart and I believe it will be the start of a new journey for me behind-the-scenes,” he says.
Shekhar Suman remains tight lipped about who would be starring in the film but he is excited about the project. The valley has been a welcome destination for Bollywood and most of the classic romantic films of the past have been shot there. This would be an interesting proposition to see and also see the way how Shekhar Suman brings this entire issue to light.