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'Sultana’s Dream' presents a short film grant competition for female story-tellers

  • Published at 02:48 pm January 1st, 2021

Interested women can submit their projects details by January 31, 2021

Sultana's Dream is inviting entries for a women-only short film grant competition. Women can submit their proposals for 5-8 mins short films of any genre or style. The organizers are looking for film topics related to women’s experiences of sexual abuse and survival. Be it fiction, documentary, visual essay, animation, experimental, all is welcome in this competition. 

Inspired by Begum Rokeya, a pioneer of women’s education in South Asia, and her 1902 novel Sultana’s Dream, the platform strives to connect women across generations through their stories. Film-maker Rubaiyat Hossain talked to Dhaka Tribune Showtime about the importance of such an initiative.

"Sultana’s Dream is a platform that I have created to promote filmmaking opportunities for women and to create a gender balance in the cinematic landscape as a whole," she said. "Historically men have been making films about women, telling women’s stories, assuming a woman’s voice."

"It’s time, as women, we intervene in the process of mostly men telling our stories and deciding how we go down in history," she added.

Also read: 'Made in Bangladesh' enters Golden Globes race

The novel, Sultana's Dream, is a science fiction set in a world where women operate in the public space, and in order to maintain purdah, men have gone into the inner quarters. In Sultana’s dream world, subversions are possible and women can take up public space without fear or guilt. As the number of violence against women cases escalate all over Bangladesh, it is of paramount importance for women to put forward their own narratives, take up public imagination with their stories and proclaim their individuality. 

The platform, in partnership with Khona Talkies and distribution partner Goethe Institut Bangladesh, will provide mentorship, logistics and financial support for the selected projects. Interested women can submit the following details: Director’s Note (1000 words), Synopsis (1000 words), One Line Budget, and Visual Reference by January 31, 2021.

Going forward, Sultana’s Dream aspires to arrange mentorship programs for women directors in the South Asian region where they can learn from script writing to marketing. For details, please visit https://sultanasdream.org/

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