• Friday, Apr 10, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:24 pm

Cannes Diaries: ‘Sand City’ from Bangladesh woos Mira Nair

  • Published at 09:25 pm May 27th, 2019
Young film director Mahde Hasan and producer Rubaiyat Hossain at Cannes Film Festival 2019 | Facebook

Young director Mahde Hasan and producer Rubaiyat Hossain’s new project 'Sand City' made it to Le Fabrique at Cannes

There was no Bangladeshi film at Cannes this year or any other year for that matter. In fact the only film that ever made to the big screens at Cannes from here was Tareque Masud’s “Matir Moyna” in 2002. It was a part of the Directors’ Fortnight and had won the FIPRESCI prize that year. However, this year, there was notable representation from Bangladesh in some other capacities. Young director Mahde Hasan and producer Rubaiyat Hossain’s new project “Sand City” made it to Le Fabrique at Cannes. A total of 10 projects from developing countries were selected for this program. The young directors and producers received mentorship from famous directors, attended workshops, masterclasses and meetings to pitch their project. 

The director said that the program at Cannes will help them to improve the script and pitch it for further development.

World renowned Indian director Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “Mississippi Massala,” and so on) was Mahde’s mentor at Cannes. She told him how important it was for us to tell our own stories. She appreciated the storytelling angle of “Sand City” and believes this film will be authentic and important. 

“Sand City” follows three characters whose lives have been touched by sand in some profound way. It had been selected for the Locarno Open Doors in 2018.

Films like “Sand City” are not meant to please the mass. Such films are made to bring prestige to the country. From my experience at Cannes, one thing became very clear- getting your film selected for this festival is as much about which institution you collaborate with, as it is about how talented you are. If all goes well, “Sand City” would have its pick of top festivals because of its merit as well as its association with such programs. 

Cannes Film Festival may be over, but there is still plenty to ponder upon in order to review the takeaways of this year’s festival and prepare to get the most out of its next edition. Within the next few days, I will be writing a complete “survival guide” for first timers at Cannes and giving movie recommendations from this year’s Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week.