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'Sultana’s Dream' to arrange workshop for 16 female filmmakers

  • Published at 05:37 pm March 10th, 2021
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Sultana's Dream| Courtesy

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

On March 8, International Women's Day, 16 female storytellers were selected to participate in a workshop organized by Sultana's Dream. 

Three of them will receive grants to make a short film titled, Breaking the Silence, relating to women’s experiences in a male dominated world.

Laboni Ashraf,  Atoshi Karmaker, Pracheta Ahana Alam, Mahanuda Aktar Monisha, Monok Muntaka, Fariah Manar, Neha Shamim, Farzana Noor, Faria Begum Riya, Afrida Mehzabin, Farah Jalil, Nusrat Jahan Ishat, Jahra Nazifa Nova, Fatiha Taiara, Md Shihab and Tezya Thomas have been selected for the workshop in an online ceremony, hosted by actor Novera Rahman and attended by Goethe-Institut Director Kirsten Hackenbroch and film critic Sadia Khalid Reeti. 

In early January, Sultana's Dream invited entries for a women-only short film grant competition. The organizers sought film topics around women’s experiences of sexual abuse and survival. Be it fiction, documentary, visual essay, experimental or animation. 

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 said, "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."

"I have been fascinated by all the stories submitted to our competition. Each of them was important and needed to be told.  Primarily, we have selected 16 participants for a workshop, 3 of whom will be given grants."

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, is providing mentorship, logistics and financial support to the selected participants.