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Dhaka Tribune

The Story Of Celluloid: Masihuddin Shaker shares his struggle in filmmaking

Update : 20 Nov 2016, 06:00 PM

On the concluding day of Dhaka Lit Fest, a panel discussion was held at the KK Stage, which featured a speaker who has credit under his belt of co-directing a Bangladeshi cult film - Surja Dighal Bari. Masihuddin Shaker developed the film, from screen writing to directing, along with fellow filmmaker Sheikh Niamat Ali in late 70s, which depicts the social context of Bangladesh and struggle of it's grassroot people immaculately.

In the discussion, Masihuddin Shaker, shared his story of struggle in making the film, which was moderated by Mohammad Shazzad Hossain, a faculty of ULAB.

In his childhood, literature played a large part in building his enthusiasm into film. While reading Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay's Pather Panchali, Shaker even envisaged a film based on the novel, as back then he was completely unaware of the fact that Satyajit Ray had already made a magnum opus out of it.

Later, he was mesmerised by Abu Ishaque's 1955 novel Surja Dighal Bari, and planned to make it his second feature film.

While studying Architecture at BUET, he became more serious about films and eventually met Mohammad Khasru, a legendary figure who influenced many through his writings on films and the film society movement. Shaker then learned some filmmaking traits, after joining the film society movement.

Years later, he approached the writer, seeking permission to make the film. Though, Abu Ishaque initially did not give permission as he already gave it to Badal Rahman.

During filming, the production saw huge drawbacks, as they had to drop the lead actress for her non-cooperation with the way how it had been filming. After a couple of years of struggle, they somehow completed the film with another actress, Dolly Anwar as Jaigun, who eventually ended up winning the National Film Award for the film. The film also clinched the “Best Film” and the “Best Director” in the national award.

Since he belongs to old school of thought, as he admitted, Shaker believes that there are distinctive differences between film and literature. In his words, a film serves one purpose of literature -- to connect people with it's content.

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