Bangladeshi director Rubaiyat Hossain's third film Made in Bangladesh has been officially invited to compete for the 78th Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Bangladeshi filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain's latest feature, Made in Bangladesh, has officially received the invitation to be submitted for the 78th Golden Globes. The director confirmed the news herself.
Produced by François d'Artemare (Les Films De L’apres-Midi) and Ashique Mostafa (Khona Talkies), the film will be submitted for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film category.
A motion picture drama or musical or comedy with more than 50% non-English dialogue is eligible for this category according to the latest rules set by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which presents the annual Golden Globe Awards.
93 films from around the world competed in the foreign language category last year, with five being officially nominated for the 77th Golden Globes. South Korean film Parasite bagged the Best Foreign Language Award in 2019.
Made in Bangladesh, which ran in 57 theatres in the US, a number exceptionally high for a foreign art house film, is about a housemaid turned factory worker, who starts a union to fight for her rights.
Two months ago, in an interview with Dhaka Tribune, Rubaiyat said that she wanted her third film to specifically focus on working class women since factory workers are most visible in our workforce and yet their stories have been rarely portrayed on the big screen.
The protagonist named Shimu, a worker in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector, was based on a real woman who helped the film crew out with dialogues and other important details.
The film depicts the struggles and successes of female RMG workers and explores how the garments industry of Bangladesh has the potential to empower women and provide them with socio-economic independence.
Invitation to 'HFPA Foreign Language Film Series'
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has also invited Made in Bangladesh to another program. The film will be screened as part of the 2nd Annual HFPA Foreign Language Film Series.
This edition would present only four new films, one of which is Rubaiyat's Made in Bangladesh.
The films will stream from October 20-31. Filmmaker Rubaiyat will join the HFPA for a Q&A on October 24.
About Made in Bangladesh
After Meherjaan (2011) and Under Construction (2015), Rubaiyat's third feature received its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIIF), under the Contemporary World Cinema category last September.
The project was co-produced by Bangladesh, France, Denmark, and Portugal. It was financed by France’s CNC fund, Norway’s Sørfond Plus, the EU’s Eurimages fund, and Denmark’s Danish Film Institute fund.
It was also financed by Pyramide Films and Pyramide International, the French distributor and international sales agent for the film.
Production began on April 17 last year, and the film was shot in different locations of Dhaka and Gazipur over 36 days.
Made in Bangladesh features Rikita Nandini Shimu, Deepanwita Martin, Mayabe Rahman, Novera Rahman, and Parvin Paru in the lead roles, along with Mustafa Monwar, Shatabdi Wadud, Joyraaj, and Momena Chowdhury.
Release in Bangladesh
In a recent interview, director Rubaiyat criticized the country's censor board, saying, "Releasing films in the country is not a straightforward process. The censor board employs a very old-fashioned approach to this day, which massively impedes creativity. Films in Bangladesh are in essence state-sanctioned pieces of work."
Rubaiyat's debut film Meherjaan was pulled from the theatres after being subjected to massive backlash for its anti-war narrative. The filmmaker is somewhat apprehensive about the fate of her third film when it comes to a local release.
"I have family and friends who own factories. I have spoken to workers and activists. Consequently, I have tried to focus on the reality of what is going on. Honestly, I don’t see any harm in making a film about working class women asking for better pay, better work environments," she said.
The director is however hopeful about releasing the film next year in Bangladesh. She said: "We are targeting to release the film in April next year. This will be done keeping Pohela Boishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year, holiday in mind."
“Initially we wanted to target Eid but later changed the decision, as the Bangladeshi audience usually likes to watch commercial films during the Eid holidays. We still wanted to focus on a holiday as the traffic condition in major cities of the country is horrible during working days. Hence we decided to target the Bengali New Year, and hopefully we will release the film around that time,” she added.
Rubaiyat went to the Cannes Film Festival’s Le Fabrique du Monde last year as the producer of Mahde Hasan’s Sand City. She had previously attended Locarno Open Doors three times and attended the Script Station at Berlinale.