Bangladesh in the limelight

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Editor of the film, Mahadeb Shi, director of the film, Tanvir Mokammel and festival director, Chaitanya Prasad along with the moderator

The opening film of the Country of Focus section ‘Rupsa Nodi’r Banke’ (‘Quiet Flows the River Rupsa’) was showcased as the world premiere yesterday.

Addressing a press conference later, director of the film, Tanvir Mokammel said: “This is the 50th year of the Liberation of Bangladesh and also the 50th year of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh so we are happy to be here. This is a film about a leftwing leader; he had all the dedication; he had all the qualities but time was against him. And he was killed by the Islamic fundamentalists during the 1971 Liberation War. So it is a fictional biopic.”

Editor of the film, Mahadeb Shi who has been working for 20 years with Mokammel said that the film is very relevant for this festival because the theme and the story is also very much common to India. “One aspect of Mokammel films is that he makes films for common people and he actually talks about good things of humanity and certain values which people are forgetting in the name of modernisation. So he highlights those things. And I feel very happy to work with the kind of films he makes,” he added.

Also present at the press conference was festival director, Chaitanya Prasad who stated that IFFI is extremely honoured and privileged to have this country focus segment from Bangladesh. “It is very auspicious for us because of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh. It also presents another facet of South Asian identify where you have bridging of relations, a kind of new collaborative network which is coming out through the medium of cinema and most importantly that we are trying to build a bridge of excellence through cinema post-pandemic. So, this is something which will go down in history.”

He further added that he happened to watch the film for half an hour and it was quite a moving film; especially the recitation of the poem and song in the beginning. “For somebody who has not been introduced to movies from Bangladesh I think this is a wonderful occasion to understand how film making has no boundaries in terms of presenting, theme, content and ideas. I am sure this initiative of ours will take the whole relationship of cultural integration between the two countries through the medium of cinema,” said Prasad.