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Dhaka Tribune

Bridges of Time opens third Dhaka Doc Lab

Conducted by TV personality Samia Zaman, there was a Q&A at the end of the opening film screening

Update : 27 Aug 2019, 09:06 PM

Dhaka Doc Lab began on Monday with the screening of Bridges of Time by Audrius Stonys. The Latvian director was present at the event, along with all seven other tutors from Spain, Japan, Phoenix, China, France, and Germany.

Md Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, was the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony at the Liberation War Museum in Agargaon. The market for documentary co-production projects  will help 16 South Asian young filmmakers by providing mentorship and funding. 

 Mofidul Hoque ,Trustee of the  Liberation War Museum, thanked Dhaka Doc Lab in his speech for their contributions to the Liberation War Film Festival, and for generating awareness about liberation and human rights. He added that with new patrons, the festival will take place annually from now on.

Karolina Lidin, consultant, Sheffield Doc/Fest from Denmark said: “When I landed in Dhaka this morning, I felt far away from home. But when I came to this event, I knew I was home.”

The tutor added: “Pitching is not a filmmaker’s favourite sport…  I always felt documentary filmmaking is not an industry, it’s a community.” 

Shahriar Alam, with his British accent, prompted the foreign guests to look around the museum during the breaks. He wore a black badge to commemorate the month of mourning. 

He expressed disappointment about the fact that the Pakistani participant at Doc Lab couldn’t come to Dhaka due to visa issues. Last year, the same happened to a participant from Myanmar. He said, with better cooperation among the SAARC countries, they’ll try to resolve the visa issues. 

Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu, Chairman of Dhaka Doc Lab, and Tareq Ahmed, Director of the festival, also spoke at the occasion. 

In its first year, the participants were from Bangladesh and India. Nepal was added in the second year. This year, participants from four countries are pitching their documentary film projects.  

Conducted by TV personality Samia Zaman, there was a Q&A at the end of the opening film screening. Director Audrius Stonys said the film was a reflection on time and on the master filmmakers who inspired him. The meditative documentary essay portrays the less-remembered generation of cinema poets,of the Baltic New Wave.

“How many films will you make in your life? So we took the chance to make something important,” Stonys said. “Hanz Frank was one of the most important subjects (in this documentary). It was like a pilgrimage not only to visit the masters, but also to visit the places where they shot their films.” 

With poetic narrations like “You can never swim in the same river,” the movie encapsulates two contradictory notions that nothing ever changes, yet nothing ever stays the same.

“Films can’t stop time, it can capture the time,” he said. “These filmmakers who changed my life will not be remembered by a lot of people, but their films will be alive like little parts of them.” 

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