This year, Bangladesh has representation among the selected films, the jury board and the panelists at the festival’s notable seminars
Film critics call the International Film Festival of Kerala the most important film festival in India, followed by IFFI (International Film Festival of India). It showcases some of the best films produced during the year and attracts film professionals from all corners of the world.
This year, Bangladesh has representation among the selected films, the jury board and the panelists at the festival’s notable seminars.
I may be the only Bangladeshi physically present here at IFFK, but our films, which are screening at the festival, have caused quite the buzz.
On the morning of the opening on December 6, I arrived in Kerala and rushed to my first screening, without even a wink of sleep. As a member of the critic jury, I have to watch 20 films during this eight day festival and deliver a speech at a seminar on film criticism. The awards we are giving out are- Best International Film and Best Malayalam Film.
So far, we got to watch films from both sections and the stylistic distinction between these two categories is deep-seated.
There are so many films screening here that were in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, that one might wonder at first glance whether they are looking at the right catalogue.
But then the title Made in Bangladesh jumps out of the cluttered list and one by one, highly acclaimed films from the other top festivals begin to pop.
Rubaiyat Hossain’s film, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival was one of the talked about films out of competition. The other jury members were interested to see Made in Bangladesh as well as Jaya Ahsan’s Bini Sutoy.
But unfortunately, our tight screening schedule didn’t allow us that luxury.
Indian film critic Premendra Mazumder, who saw both of the films, said that Made in Bangladesh is a nuanced representation of “the contemporary socio-economic scenario of the working class in Bangladesh.”
About Bini Sutoy, he said: “I didn’t know Jaya could sing so beautifully. I introduced her to the director and he has cast her in his upcoming film (Robibar) as well.”
Back in 2006, director Abu Sayeed’s Nirontor won both the Best Film award and the FIPRESCI award at IFFK. With a steady flow of good films, we may soon expect Bangladeshi films to compete in all major film festivals.