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Mahde Hasan’s ‘Sand City’ selected for Cannes La Fabrique Cinéma

  • Published at 09:01 pm March 16th, 2019
A scene from the under development film 'Sand City' and its director Mahde Hasan | Courtesy

Ten new filmmakers from 10 different countries are invited each year as part of this programme

Young director Mahde Hasan’s debut feature film, “Sand City,” has been selected for La Fabrique Cinéma 2019 at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Ten new filmmakers from 10 different countries are invited each year as part of this programme. After Kamar Ahmed Simon’s “Shonkhodhoni,” this is the second time a Bangladeshi filmmaker has been chosen for this highly competitive event.

Mahde will be at Cannes throughout the festival participating in pitching sessions and meetings with producers. There will also be a three-day long masterclass like every year, conducted by a famous director. This year’s director’s name is yet to be announced.  

The film “Sand City” is still in its development phase. Mahde told Dhaka Tribune that this is his first time at the Cannes Film Festival. He will look for production grants for his film based on a polished draft of its screenplay.

“My film is based on three marginalized characters in Dhaka whose lives have been touched by sand in one way or another,” Mahde said. “A sand washing plant worker, a monk trying to make a sand mandala, and an NGO worker who needs sand for her kitty litter, are at the heart of this film.”

The director had previously attended the Locarno Open Doors for this film and was awarded a two month residency in Switzerland to further develop the script. The film also travelled to Produire Au Sud in France in 2018 and Ekadeshma Film Lab in Nepal in 2017. The producer of “Sand City” is Rubaiyat Hossain from Khona Talkies.

Other projects selected for this year’s La Fabrique Cinéma are “Three Brothers” by Francisco Paparella (Argentina), “The French Teacher” by Ricardo Alves Jr. (Brazil), “Organisme Religieusement Modifié” by Simplice Ganou (Burkina Faso), “Bootleg” by Reem Morsi (Egypt), “Rapture” by Dominic Sangma (India), “Crocodile Tears” by Tumpal Tampubolon (Indonesia), “Raising a Beast” by Xaisongkham Induangchanthy (Laos), “Tanzanite” by Kantarama Gahigiri (Rwanda) and “Fouledh” by Mehdi Hmili (Tunisia).