Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar, president of the Bangladesh Film Directors Association, emphasized in his speech, how we need multiplexes throughout the country in order to be able to see such films more often. He commended Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy for hosting this festival in every local Shilpakala facility at the district level, which will inspire young film-makers outside of Dhaka as well
The National Gallery Auditorium at Shilpakala Academy was full to the brim with fervent audiences waiting for the second instalment of the biannual Bangladesh Short and Documentary Film Festival 2018 to begin on Saturday afternoon. After a group dance performance and speeches by the special guests, director Tasmiah Afrin Mou’s short fiction “Statement After My Poet Husband’s Death” opened the curtain on the nationwide film festival.
Mou’s film is about the psychological journey of a middle class woman, Rubi (Dilruba Hossain Doyel), whose husband dies, but she feels no grief for him. Sitting beside his dead body, she remembers her life with this man, and discovers that her once beloved husband had been dead to her long before his physical demise.
The film has travelled to 15 international film festivals in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Nepal, India, Pakistan, USA, and Canada, and won five awards in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.
Other short films screened at the opening day were- Shajan Majhi and Oshim Sarker’s “Golpo Shongkhep,” Mahmud Hasan’s “Itibritto Kingba Bastobotar Purorarombo,” Rafat Zamil’s “Seized Pleasure,” Abid Mllick’s “A Little Red Car,” Jhumur Asma Jui’s short documentary “Putul Puran,” Sohel Rana Boyati’s “Jol O Pani,” and Zuairijah Mou’s “Bhoy- The Fear of Silence.”
The chief guest slated for the event opening ceremony, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Asaduzzaman Noor, couldn’t make it to the event as he was not in Dhaka. However, six of the seven special guests invited to the program were present and they all delivered elaborate speeches.
Md. Badrul Anam Bhuiyan, film and cinematography department, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, delivered the opening speech, followed by Zahidur Rahim Anjan, president, Bangladesh Short Film Forum (BSFF).
“Since BSFF started organizing short film festivals in 1988, we have tried to take these festivals outside of Dhaka,” Anjan said. “We arranged film festivals in Rajshahi, Bogra and so on, but couldn’t go far with our limited budget... We don’t get enough scope to see short and documentary films. Thanks to Shilpakala, now we can.”
Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar, president of the Bangladesh Film Directors Association, emphasized in his speech, how we need multiplexes throughout the country in order to be able to see such films more often. He commended Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy for hosting this festival in every local Shilpakala facility at the district level, which will inspire young film-makers outside of Dhaka as well.
Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Nasir Uddin Ahmed, wished the week-long film festival success. He spoke about how the Cultural Ministry, in association with Shilpakala Academy, is trying to decentralize film and theatre through their continuous efforts. He mentioned the recent stage play “Mahasthan,” which was staged in Bogra in November, as a part of this endeavour.
Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Abdul Malek, recalled the martyrs of the Liberation War. He announced that the Bangladesh Cinema and Television Institute will have a post graduate program very soon, on top of the diploma it’s offering at the moment.
Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Liaquat Ali Lucky, stressed the fact that we should have theatres at the upazila level.
“Empowerment of art is very important,” he said. “We’re doing the festival as a part of that movement.”
A total of 48 short films and 22 documentaries are screening at this year’s festival. Around 15 films are competing for the three awards (best film, best film-maker, and special jury award). The winners will be announced at the closing ceremony on December 15.