Talented young filmmaker, Kamar Ahmed Simon’s Shunte Ki Pao (Are You Listening!) is now available on digital platforms like Amazon Video, Google Play and iTunes. The award-winning filmmaker’s silver screen debut has bagged the prestigious Grand Prix at the 35th Cinéma du Réel held in Paris in 2013 along with a Golden Conch in Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2014, India, as the best feature-length documentary.
Amazon Video is one of the most famous Video on Demand service aroung the globe, whereas Google Play Movies and TV is a popular streaming platform which operates in 110 countries around the world excluding Bangladesh, as of now. On the other hand, Apple’s iTunes has a collection of nearly 65,000 movies. Interestingly, none of these platforms have featured Bangladeshi films previously.
The auteur du jour wishes to see it as a ground-breaking news for the whole industry. He believes that the news could “inspire the rising youngsters working behind the camera.” He said, “Many have complained that there are no DVDs for the film - particularly, expat Bangladeshis. I’ve received hundreds of letters in this regard.”
“Moreover, the fact that a Bangladeshi film has been released on international platforms like Google, Amazon and iTunes for the first time, has doubled my pleasure,” Simon added.
Shunte Ki Pao had its world premiere held at the 55th DOK Leipzig in Germany where it won the “Curtain-Opener” of the festival in 2012. The documentary was released in Bangladeshi theatres on February 21, 2014 at Star Cineplex and successfully ran for four weeks, making it the second documentary after Muktir Gaan by Tareque Masud, to be released at a theatre in Bangladesh. The film, which has been invited to more than 35 prestigious international film festivals, has won ten international awards till date.
The director’s second feature documentary, Day After Tomorrow (working title), which is the second among his planned Water trilogy, was awarded an Open Doors production grant worth $30,500 (CHF30,000) as well as the ARTE International Open Doors Prize with a cash prize of $6,700 (€6,000). French producer-consultant Dominique Welinski’s company DW is onboard as a co-producer for the film, and has been selected for the prestigious Atelier program. A part of Cannes’ Cinefondation film development initiative, the Atelier invites 15 directors whose projects have been considered “particularly promising.”