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Tauquir Ahmed: I don't even want to tag 'Haldaa' as a good film

  • Published at 10:11 pm November 30th, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:17 pm November 30th, 2017
Tauquir Ahmed: I don't even want to tag 'Haldaa' as a good film
The rise of Tauquir Ahmed as an independent director in the local film scene is a low-key story yet a flashy one. Not every film director can make a debut film as aesthetically as needed to win seven top national accolades. But Tauquir did and eventually bagged three of these awards, for himself, the Best Film, Best Director and the Best Screenplay, for “Joyjatra,” despite being a lone wolf in the whole scene. The actor turned writer and helmer's latest film “Haldaa” is set to hit the theatres around the country today. Penned by Azad Bulbul, the film revolves around Halda; a river in south-eastern Bangladesh; The one and only natural fish breeding center in Asia. The movie plot is based on the river Halda and the struggling life of the fishermen's on both sides. Dhaka Tribune's Showtime reached out to the director to talk about his latest film.

With your cinematic excellence in “Oggatonama”, you have successfully turned “Haldaa” into an anticipated film and it is going to be released today. How excited are you about the release?

The excitement is always there, especially when it's your film that's going to be released. But the number of theatres “Haldaa” is going to be released in, which happens to be the highest in my directing career, is also giving me jitters (laugh). I hope there will be a lot of people to watch the film in theatres and I would be the happiest if they like what I made. Since I am not much of a hit director, I would say my films can barely create a buzz and have the amount of publicity as others do before release. In this sense, I am excited and tensed at the same time. Speaking of publicity and promotion, after the release of “Oggatonama”, the audience claimed that you did not put enough efforts in promoting the film. They say the film would have been a hit otherwise. What's your take on this? Actually I am an introvert person, which makes me less of an ardent marketer. Praising myself is the last thing I want to do as I find it too embarrassing. Besides, it is not the job of a director to promote his/her film. So I would rather concentrate on my own job, and that's making the film.

Finally, your film have landed in the hands of a distribution firm. What are you expecting from “Haldaa” in terms of business?

Yes, we are collaborating with Ovi Kothachitro for the distribution of “Haldaa”, and as you see we have already secured about a hundred theatres. Besides, to make the film even more appealing to the local film-goers, I've made it more colourful and even added songs to my film. I adjusted the duration of the film so that it can merge with the timing of the theatre slots.

Gathering from your previous films, you seem to have an affection for the rivers and landscapes.

If someone tells you about Nepal, what's the first thing that comes to your mind? Obviously the hills and mountains. When we talk about Scandinavia, it reminds us of the ice and cold. The same way, Afghanistan is somewhat synonymous with deserts for us. What I am trying to say is that landscape is a crucial part of culture and we can't just ignore them in the films. But this is also true that I love the landscapes of my country and never want to miss a chance to capture them in my frames. It makes the stories more engaging and sometimes enrich it.

Any interesting stories from the set of “Haldaa”?

There's actually a lot. Since the cast of “Haldaa” features some of the most popular actors of the country, including Zahid Hasan, Nusrat Imroz Tisha and Mosharraf Karim, to the detriment of their love and fame, we had to start the shoot as early as 5 in the morning. They used to come in groups throughout the day to see the shoot and their beloved actors, and naturally we had to be on a forced recess around the time. It was quite interesting and lovely to see their affection toward the cast.

What would the audience miss if they do not watch “Haldaa”?

(Laughs) Nothing to be specific because good films are rarely being entertained throughout the world. You would miss nothing if you don't watch “Haldaa.” There are a large number of good films around the world that people barely watch. In fact, I don't even want to tag “Haldaa” as a good film. I would say I just tried to make a good film and it is always up to the audience to judge.
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