'Live from Dhaka' director Abdullah Mohammad Saad talks about his second feature ‘Rehana Maryam Noor’ --- the first Bangladeshi film to have been officially selected at Cannes
Director Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s second feature “Rehana Maryam Noor” has been officially selected in the “Un Certain Regard” section of the 74th Cannes Film Festival.
Penned and edited by Saad, this is the first Bangladeshi film to have been officially selected at the prestigious festival. Previously, the late director Tareque Masud’s “Matir Moyna” was screened at the Director's Fortnight segment of the 55th Cannes.
The film’s premise revolves around a private medical college teacher, Rehana, who singe-handedly wages a fight for justice on behalf of her 6-year-old daughter and one of her college students.
“I grew up in a big family with three elder sisters who have impacted me and my thought process deeply, and I believe that Rehana was born out of their profound influence on me,” Saad said.
“The investigation of the character took quite a while as I wanted to understand this complex woman who is torn between her logic and impulse- what fascinated me the most is how full of contradiction Rehana is, as she tries to make sense of what she wants and why she wants it, in a claustrophobic world that keeps pushing her to the edge,” the director added.
“I am honored to be premiering Rehana Maryam Noor at Cannes as the first official selection from Bangladesh in history. The achievement belongs to a close-knit team that worked very hard and did their best. I am grateful to these brilliant people and my sensitive cast. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
“Rehana Maryam Noor” boasts an ensemble cast of Azmeri Haque Badhon, Afia Hahin Jaima, Afia tabassum Borno, Kazi Sami Hossain, Yasir Al Haq, Saberi Alam, Abrodit Chowhdury and others.
Rajib Mohajan, Sydul Haque Khandaker, Adnan Habib co-produced the film. Cinematographer Tuhin Tamijul shot the film. Ali Afjal Uzzal and Sayba Talukder completed the production design and the sound design, respectively.
Khelna Chobi’s internationally acclaimed film “Live from Dhaka,” was Saad’s 2016 directorial debut, which won the Best Actor and Best Director awards at the Singapore International Film Festival and has been screened at various international film festivals of the world.
On June 3, the Official Selection of the 74th Festival de Cannes was presented by Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux at the UGC Normandie in Paris.
The news quickly started making the rounds on social media. Netizens did not shy away from singing the praises of the film’s crew and cast members. Many remarked that this achievement heralded a near-term revival of Bangladeshi cinema.