• Thursday, Nov 21, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:19 pm

Writ on national film grant winner announcement to be heard today

  • Published at 10:20 pm July 27th, 2019
Film posters of writ plaintiffs against the national film grant
Film-makers Oddri Hridesh, Supin Barman, Khandaker Sumon and Dr Mohammad Jahangir Hossain filed the writ petition to the High Court

Currently many young, and experienced film-makers are applying for the national film grant for making both short and feature-length films. Each of the applicants submit the entire proposal package, along with their screenplay, as per the process mentioned in the guidelines for each category

Four film-makers had submitted a writ petition to the High Court on July 16, demanding a stay order on the disbursement of national film grants to the previously announced 14 winners, and reevaluation of all the film proposals submitted so far. They claim to have found irregularities in the selection process. The writ petition will have a hearing today from the 25th annex of the High Court.

According to a press  release, all four film-makers had submitted film proposal packages for the national film grants in the 2018-19 financial year. Film researcher and writer Dr Mohammad Jahangir Hossain was an applicant of national film grant for a feature-length film, and film-makers Oddri Hridesh, Supin Barman, and Khandaker Sumon had all applied for the short film grants. The writ applicants are being given legal assistance by Supreme Court lawyer Hasnat Kayyum.

Explaining the process of national film grant disbursement film-maker Oddri Hridesh told the Dhaka Tribune Showtime: “There are four committees for giving out national film grants in two categories; short film and feature-length film. There is a selection committee and a grant disbursement committee in each category. The selection committee gives out marks to each script submitted, during their screening process. The scripts which receive the topmost marks are then sent to the disbursement committee, who in turn interviews the applicants and send their shortlist to the Ministry of Information.

“However, we found out after talking to the selection committee, that the scripts with the top-marks did not get interviewed by the disbursement committee. And they sent a completely different list, which does not include the top ranking scripts, to the Ministry of Information. They are allowed to do that, but the guideline indicates an interview. Even in the Ministry of Information the final awardees were changed as per their wish.

“Furthermore, we noticed that the law of being significantly involved with films to be a grant winner was not followed, as some of the winners who have been announced have never worked in films. These are highly irregular occurrences, which lead us to file the writ petition,” Oddri added.

The government began giving out national film grants from the 1976-77 financial year, to encourage the making of artistic and entertaining films.

“Receiving the national film grant used to be a big inspiration for independent film-makers with a unique mindset,” the statement also said. 

Currently many young, and experienced film-makers are applying for the national film grant for making both short and feature-length films. Each of the applicants submit the entire proposal package, along with their screenplay, as per the process mentioned in the guidelines for each category.