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Bangladeshi co-production to compete in Venice Film Festival

  • Published at 08:31 pm July 25th, 2019
Official poster of the film Roqaia | Courtesy

According to its producers, Roqaia is the first Bangladeshi co-production film to get selected at the oldest and one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world

An Afghanistan-Bangladesh co-production titled Roqaia has been officially selected at the  76th Venice International Film Festival. The film was jointly produced by Bangladesh’s internationally acclaimed production company Goopy Bagha Productions and Afghanistan’s I-Khanom Cinema. According to its producers, Roqaia is the first Bangladeshi co-production film to get selected at the oldest and one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.  

The 10 minutes-long film, directed by young Afghan filmmaker Diana Saqeb Jamal, has been selected in the festival’s Orizzonti segment which is an international competition dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema.

The film, produced by Bangladeshi filmmakers Arifur Rahman and Bijon Imtiaz, features Afghan actors Roqia Rasuli, Asadullah Rasuli, Gavhar Taj Salmanian, Qorban Ali Salmanian in major roles. 

The Dhaka Tribune’s Showtime contacted the film’s producer Bijon Imtiaz. He said: "Arif and I thought long and hard, what is our role as we have been working to establish our company Goopy Bagha risking our all. The answer we got was that we are story tellers. We want to tell stories that matters to us. We want to tell stories that makes us realize how similar we are no matter how far away we are from each other, how different we are superficially. We want to tell stories that hardly get opportunity to be heard. That’s where Roqaia comes, we are proud to be part of this journey with Diana. We want to go beyond any boundaries and tell stories to bring all of us a little closer in this turbulent time."

Arifur Rahman told Dhaka Tribune's Showtime that Diana is a very talented filmmaker and they are very hopeful about the future of this project.  

The official line-up of this year’s festival had been announced during a press conference that took place at the Cinema Moderno in Rome on Thursday. The press conference was hosted by the President of the Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta and by the director of the Cinema department Alberto Barbera.

Screengrab from 76th Venice Film Festival Website | LaBiennale

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