Russell was given the award for writing the lyrics for the emotionally-charged song Jodi Dukkho Chue Dekho, in the film Putro, which stars Ferdous Ahmed and Jaya Ahsan. This was the first National Film Award win for Russell
Popular lyricist Zulfiqer Russell has jointly won the National Film Award for Best Lyrics - for the year 2018 - with Kabir Bakul. Russell, who is also the editor of Bangla Tribune, received the award from the hands of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) on Sunday.
Russell was given the award for writing the lyrics for the emotionally-charged song Jodi Dukkho Chue Dekho, in the film Putro, which stars Ferdous Ahmed and Jaya Ahsan. This was the first National Film Award win for Russell.
Whereas Kabir Bakul won the award for writing the lyrics of Jodi Ebhabei Bhalobhasho, in the film Nayak.
In response to what inspired the lyrics, Zulfiqer Russell told the Dhaka Tribune Showtime: "The director of the film (Saiful Islam Mannu) told me beforehand that the story is about differently-abled children. Even if the film (Putro) came out in 2018, the work for it began a long time ago. As far as I remember, I wrote all the songs for the film back in 2013 or 2014. So, I knew the sequences that will be shown in the film, keeping those in mind I wrote the songs."
In response to whether he expected an award for the song before the announcement, Russell said: "No! I never expected an award. Actually when I write a song I do not think about what I will achieve with it. I wrote this song while keeping the film's story in my mind. The award is just a bonus achievement, after the listeners appreciated the lyrics."
Regarding the feeling of receiving a National Film Award for the first time Russell said: "This was an extra-ordinary experience. Sometimes, there are certain experiences that cannot be properly expressed in words. Even if one tries to explain the experience by calling it extraordinary or any other words, proper description about that cannot be given. I experienced such a feeling at that moment.
"Funnily enough, I did not hear the song before the film's release. I heard it for the first time when I watched the film," Russell added.
Russell had also unveiled the cover of his new book Joler Damey in this year's Dhaka Lit Fest. The book is a collection of around 450 songs written by Russell. He also told Showtime, that he had written about 700-800 songs till now.
Regarding the interesting name of the book Russell said: "I wrote a song for the band Dalchhut with the same title back in 1998 or 1999. When I was thinking for a name for the book, I was looking for a title among my songs. At the time this was the name that struck me, and I decided to go with it. There is no other story behind it."
Moreover, the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer of 2018 went to Naimul Islam Ratul- for singing Jodi Dukkho Chue Dekho, the song penned by Russell. Ratul was the second runners-up in the singing competition Khude Gaanraj.
On the other hand, the Best Female Playback Singer award of 2018 jointly went to Sabina Yasmin and Akhi Alamgir. Sabina won the award for singing Bhule Man Oviman in Putro and Akhi won the award for the song Golpo Kothar Oi in Ekti Cinemar Golpo.