Dhaka Tribune’s Showtime looks back at the films that created buzz and curiosity among the film lovers and critics
In 2019, many Bangladeshi films made rounds in the international festival circuit. Most of these films were made by young and promising film-makers who have potential to take the country’s film industry forward. Many commercial films and a handful of indie or art-house films kept the industry busy, and drew cinema goers to theatres.
Dhaka Tribune’s Showtime looks back at the films that created buzz and curiosity among the film lovers and critics.
Iti, Tomari Dhaka (Sincerely Yours, Dhaka)
The first anthology film of Bangladesh, Iti, Tomari Dhaka (Sincerely Yours, Dhaka), participated in many international film festivals, and finally hit the local theatres in November.
The anthology film, which premiered at Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in 2018, features 11 short films with the central theme being the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka.
The short films were made by 11 Bangladeshi film-makers- Abdullah Al Noor, Golam Kibria Farooki, Krishnendu Chattopadhyay, Mahmudul Islam, Md Robiul Alam, Mir Mukarram Hossain, Nuhash Humayun, Rahat Rahman, Syed Ahmed Shawki, Syed Saleh Ahmed Sobhan and Tanvir Ahsan.
In January, the film won the Best Original Screenplay award at the Jaipur International Film Festival in India.
Director Nasir Uddin Yousuff Bachchu’s latest feature film Alpha was an official selection for 92nd Academy Awards, popularly known as Oscars. However, the film was dropped from the shortlist to compete for the award in the foreign language film category.
Alpha was released in Bangladeshi theatres on April 26. The film revolves around the life of a rickshaw painter. His adaptation with this metro city and his psychological duels are portrayed in the film.
The cast of the film includes ATM Shamsuzzaman, Doel, Isharat Nishat and others. Alamgir Kabir plays the lead character in the film.
Live From Dhaka
Live From Dhaka was one of the hyped films of the year as it had won Best Actor and Best Director awards at the Singapore International Film Festival, and was screened at various international film festivals of the world.
Screened at the Locarno Festival in the Open Doors section, Live From Dhaka is the directorial debut of Abdullah Mohammad Saad. The film depicts a tragic story of a protagonist who plunges into the infernal circles of the megacity Dhaka.
Bangladesh's first surfing film No Dorai was, perhaps, the most talked-about film of the year. The film became the talk of the town for many reasons. After facing objections from Bangladesh Film Censor Board, the film received censor certificate in November and was released in theatres.
No Dorai, which means "not afraid" in Chittagonian dialect, features actor Shariful Raj and model Sunerah Binte Kamal in the lead roles.
Later, the film faced calls to be banned accused of “hurting” religious sentiments in the conservative Muslim nation.
The film tells the story of a poor girl who loves surfing, and goes against the orthodox society to pursue her dreams.
Supreme Court lawyer Huzzatul Islam issued a legal notice to the film-makers and filed a petition in the High Court demanding authorities revoke the censor certificate of film No Dorai in Bangladesh where it is unusual for women to swim in public.
This film inspires women empowerment and opens a new door for adventure films in the country.