The 14th International Short Film and Independent Film Festival began yesterday with the theme “Free Film, Free Expression.”
Bangladesh Short Film Forum arranged the programme where participants from 109 countries are expected to screen more than five hundred films. The ending ceremony of the festival will be held on December 10 at the National Museum Auditorium in Dhaka’s Shahbagh.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith inaugurated the week long film festival at the capital’s Public Library premises yesterday evening by hoisting the National Flag.
The festival goals are to bring out young talents and to give opportunity to the native film makers of projecting their works in international arena.
The screening of the films would be held at six different venues in Dhaka. The venues are Shawkat Osman Hall at Central Public Library, Central Auditorium and Sufia Kamal Auditorium of National Museum, National Music and Dance Center Auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Central Auditorium of Jagannath University and World Cultural Center, Bangladesh.
The films will also be screened in two venues in Rajshahi from December 3-6.
In his speech, Muhith said film was a key element of flourishing culture. He thanked the organisers for arranging the festival and hoped to bring out brilliant film directors through such festivals.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony as special guest, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said the festival would play a vital role in keeping the practices of our native culture alive.
Emphasising on the importance of film in society, Inu said: “Film is not only entertainment but also a social movement.”
The minister urged film directors to make films on global issues like poverty, gender discrimination, climate change, sustainable development and terrorism.
Bangladesh Short Film Forum President Prof Zakir Hossain Raju, eminent cultural personality and film director Nasir Uddin Yousuf Bacchchu, festival director Sayed Imran Hossain Kirmani, Chinese film director Dr Shi Fi spoke at the programme.
The awards will be given in four categories – Best International Fiction, Best International Documentary, Network for Asian Cinema and Tarek Shahariar Best Independent Shot.
The festival has been organised in memory of the first film director of subcontinent Hiralal Sen and writer Syed Shamsul Haque.