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Nandita, Tilda and Manisha at DLF 2018

  • Published at 08:38 pm November 7th, 2018
DLF logo 2018

It is that time of the year again. Dhaka Literary Festival (DLF) begins today on a grand scale, and it will take place today and tomorrow— before ending on Saturday. Many celebrities, including authors, editors, translators, artistes, actors, performers, and even directors, will attend the festival, in large numbers, at Bangla academy. However, we at Showtime are looking forward to the sessions by three internationally-renowned actors; Manisha Koirala, Nandita Das, and Tilda Swinton. In this feature, we will highlight the sessions that our Showtime readers should absolutely attend, in order to get a glimpse of these stars.

Nandita Das

Nandita Das has acted in more than 40 feature films in 10 different languages. She made her directorial debut with, “Firaaq,” in 2008, for which won many accolades and much admiration both in India and abroad. Nandita was twice on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival (in 2005 and 2013). She has a master's degree in social work, and is an ardent advocate for issues of social justice and human rights. Nandita's second directorial venture, “Manto,” had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, and was released in Indian theatres on September 21, 2018.

Film Screening of “Manto” followed by a discussion titled “Director’s Cut”

Venue: AKSB Auditorium

Date: November 8, 2018

Time: 4:15pm-7:30pm

This session will feature a film screening followed by a conversation. The film, “Manto,” directed by Nandita Das, is a biopic of Saadat Hasan Manto—one of the greatest and controversial short story writers from South Asia. Manto is most known for, “Toba Tek Singh.” In the film, five of Manto’s moving short stories will be shown. Each story depicts Mumbai in all its harsh beauty, and the ugly reality of the marginalized in the years before and after partition. Following the screening, director Nandita Das, who also portrays everyday people struggling with realities of society in her own films, will have a one-on-one conversation with writer and film-maker Annie Zaidi.

Nandita Das, Tilda Swinton and Manisha Koirala will be sharing their stories at Dhaka Lit Fest 2018 | Facebook

Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala is one of India's leading film actors. Born into the prominent Koirala family in Nepal, Manisha made her Bollywood debut with, “Saudagar,” in 1991. She went on to establish herself as one of the leading actors with films such as, “1942: A Love Story,” “Akele Hum Akele Tum,” “Bombay,” “Khamoshi: The Musical,” “Dil Se,” “Mann,” “Lajja,” and “Company.” She took a break from acting in 2012, then returned five years later with, “Dear Maya,” Netflix's “Lust Stories,” and, “Sanju.” Both in 1999 and 2015, Manisha was appointed as the goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund. She was also involved in the relief effort after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. At the moment, she promotes causes such as: women's rights, prevention of violence against women, prevention of human trafficking, and cancer awareness. Manisha, herself, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, and has been cancer-free since 2013.

Breaking Bad

Venue: AKSB Auditorium

Date: November 09, 2018

Time: 11:15am-12:15pm

The entertainment industry has a huge influence determining how women are depicted and defined. Iconic stars Manisha Koirala and Nandita Das are two of India's most celebrated and accomplished actors, with an enormous body of work to their credit. They have both deliberately and actively made choices, both professional and personal, to combat the stereotyping of women. They discuss their own journeys, and also how they are challenging perceptions which hold women back, in a conversation with DLF director Sadaf Saaz.


Venue: AKSB Auditorium

Date: November 10, 2018

Time: 11:15am-12:15pm

Manisha Koirala was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 5 years ago. Her book, “Healed,” came out in January, and is a powerful, moving, and deeply-personal story of her battle against the disease. As she completes five years of being cancer-free, she shares her: struggles, confessions, disappointment, and uncertainty, as well as lessons she learned along the way. Through her personal journey, she will deconstruct the experience of having cancer – for everyone in attendance – and inspire them to not to buckle under its fear, but emerge alive, kicking, and victorious. She will be in conversation with DLF director Sadaf Saaz.

Tilda Swinton

A long-standing friend of DLF, Tilda Swinton is that rarest of stars, who is an Oscar-winner with genuine indie credentials; and is equally at-home in superhero blockbusters. Be it Wes Anderson comedies or – as she proved this year in Luca Guadagnino’s stunning remake of, “Suspiria,” shocking horror. Tilda Swinton has acted in them all. Since starting out in Derek Jarman’s films in the 1980s, she has continually confounded expectations, with an acting resume, as rich and diverse as anyone working today. Her immaculate personal style has also seen her continually listed as among the world’s best dressed.

Last and First Men

Venue: AKSB Auditorium

Date: November 09, 2018

Time: 2pm-3pm

The session will have a special reading of composer Johann Jóhannsson's, “Last and First Men,” by Tilda Swinton. Jóhannsson's text is based on the cult science fiction novel by Olaf Stapledon. A requiem for the last of the humankind, the reading will offer a poetic meditation. The Oscar-nominated composer Johann – whose work has included, “Arrival,” “The Theory of Everything,” and, “Sicario,” – spent seven years crafting the work with an orchestral score which he completed in 2017. He passed away in February this year. Therefore this reading is a tribute to him. DLF director Kazi Anis Ahmed will introduce Tilda Swinton.

On Drumduan Hill 

Venue: AKSB Auditorium

Date: November 10, 2018

Time: 3:15pm-4:15pm

In a conversation with DLF director Ahsan Akbar, Tilda will discuss something she feels extremely passionate about—education.

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