A Bangladeshi documentary titled “People who Crossed River Naf” based on the recent Rohingya plight got selected in the competition segment of Iraq’s Al-Nahj International Film Festival 2018. The film was directed by young filmmaker Nazmul Islam Lalien.
The six and a half minute long documentary which focuses on the humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh-Myanmar borders and the great migration of the Rohingya people helplessly entering Bangladesh by crossing the Naf river (a river which separates the two nations), was selected from thousands of submissions and will be competing against 16 more documentaries around the world.
The film’s director, Lalien, told Dhaka Tribune’s Showtime: “I’ll go to Iraq in order to attend the festival’s main event as more parts of our world needs to see and hear what’s going on in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and why hundreds and thousands of man, woman and children are living under the open sky without proper shelter, food or medical supplies.”
He added: “UNHCR’s report says during late October 2017 more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees crossed the Naf river since the Myanmar army started an ethnic cleansing and Bangladesh opened its borders to accept them as refugees. Six months past and there’s still no ray of hope for them.”
According to the director, the film, shot entirely on a GoPro action camera, is a depiction of his and his team’s points of view when they visited the camps and saw hundreds and thousands of helpless Rohingya people fleeing their homeland by crossing the Naf river to enter Bangladesh in search of safety, shelter and food during late September 2017.
The short documentary, produced by Amirul Rajiv and Muhammad Anwar Hossain, will also be premiere at the Cefalu Film Festival on May 1, 2018 in Italy’s Cefalu. Siesta Subtitle Solution is the distributor of the film in the international film festival circuit.
Lalien is currently busy working on the pre-production phase of his debut feature film titled “Jolaronney – Inside the Sanctuary,” where he is both the writer and the director.