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‘Researchers should look at what happened before Liberation War to shake communal tag’

  • Published at 11:34 pm April 22nd, 2019
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Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque hands over an award to one of the recipients at the On the occasion of 7th International Festival of Docufilms on Liberation and Human Rights in Dhaka on Mnday, April 22, 2019 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Film makers need to make films on what happened before Liberation War to raise awareness if Bangladesh is ever to shake off the communal tag

On the occasion of 7th International Festival of Docufilms on Liberation and Human Rights, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque has urged researchers to look at what happened before the Liberation War to help dispel the notion that Bangladesh is a communal country.

Addressing the award ceremony of the festival, the minister said: “Both before and after the Liberation War, Bangladesh has been branded as a country rife with communalism on the basis of religion. There have been many instances of communal violence in the name of religion in Bangladesh, both immediately before and after independence.

“Researchers need to look at what happened before the Liberation War to find the roots of this communalism, and they need to make films on this to raise awareness if Bangladesh is ever to shake off the communal tag,” he added.

The docufilm “Merciless Mayhem” by Fuad Chowdhury was awarded as the best docufilm screened at the festival, and won Tk1 lakh in prize money. The film focuses on the reasons behind discrimination against Bangali people from 1947 till the Liberation War, explaining various political and diplomatic decisions. The film was made on the basis of interviews from former Punjabi military officers.

Members of jury board and others present requested that “Merciless Mayhem” be screened at educational institutions, and the Liberation War Affairs minister assured that he would try to arrangethe initiative.

In addition, two docufilm projects – “A mandolin in exile” by Rafiqul Islam, and “Muktijuddhoy Tripura (Tripura during the Liberation War)” by Priyanka Acharya - were awarded Tk5 lakh and Tk3 lakh in funding respectively, as well as mentoring from the Bangladesh Film Archive and Dhaka DocLab.

Meanwhile,  DocLab announced a special award for Krishnakali Islam’s film project “NOC.”

The docufilm projects were selected from a mock pitching session under a workshop titled “Exposition of young film talent.” This year’s theme was the persecution of the Rohingyas.

Liberation War Museum Board of Trustees member Mofidul Hoque announced the names of the winners, and said next year’s theme will be on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to commemorate what would have been his 100th birthday.

“The aim of this festival is to inspire and empower the next generation of filmmakers. With the help of Film Archive and Doc Lab, training programs and funding will be organized to strengthen the capacity of film makers,” he added.