ABOUT THE FILM
Widely considered to be the crown jewel of Kashmir, Dal Lake is a sprawling aquatic community where erupting political violence often distracts from the natural beauty. Gulzar, a young, working-class boatman, plans to skip town with his best friend in search of a better life, but a weeklong military curfew derails their departure. Forced to wait it out, Gulzar takes a job assisting a pretty scientist named Asifa. As they navigate the floating landscape, collecting water samples for an environmental study, an unlikely relationship blossoms between the two. When Asifa's research reveals harmful pollutants, Gulzar realizes that the ecology of the lake and an entire way of life face an alarming threat, and everything in his own life begins to take on a new hue.
Lush cinematography heightens the region’s visual splendor in this enlightening feature debut from Musa Syeed. Intricately weaving contemporary issues with traditional culture and ancient myths, VALLEY OF SAINTS is a vibrant, lyrical film about finding one's path home in a changing world.
Writer & Director Musa Syeed
Producer Nicholas Bruckman
Editors Musa Syeed, Ray Hubley, Mary Manhardt
Cinematographer Yoni Brook
Music Mubashir Mohi-ud-Din
Cast Gulzar Bhat, Neelofar Hamid, Afzal Sofi
Sundance Film Festival (World Cinema Audience Award, Alfred P. Sloan Prize), International Film Festival Rotterdam, Ashland Independent Film Festival (Grand Jury Award)
Available Press Images (click to preview)