Every year the winners of Standard Chartered-The Daily Star ‘Celebrating Life’ Contests are awarded at the grand Gala Night. After last two year’s extravaganza with international artistes, we are proud to have hosted an equally spectacular show with all local artistes this time around. Upholding the central theme ‘Empowerment of Women’, photography, lyrics and film contest winners of ‘Celebrating Life 2013’ share their gratification with Sadia Khalid.
Anwar Hossain, Actor
Popularly known as ‘Nawab’ in the world of celluloid, he has given us many memorable performances one after another. Born in 1931, his talent in acting began to show from a very early age. His journey in cinema began with “Mukh O Mukhosh”. Following with Palanka, Tomar Amar, Shurjo Snan, Jowar Elo, Kancher Deyal, Shutorang, Dui Digonto, it was his defining role in Khan Ataur Rahman’s Nawab Sirajuddoulah in 1967 that gave Hossain an all-time perch in the history of Bengali cinema. His other popular films include Poroshmoni, Neel Akasher Neeche, Jibon Theke Neya, Ato Tuku Asha and a wide range of others, which remain as a testimony to the versatility which he brought into Bengali filmdom.
Gazi Mazharul Anwar, Lyricist
Eminent lyricist, Gazi Mazharul Anwar entered the world of music in the ’60s. He has so far penned an astounding number of 20,000 songs. Among his countless classics are Joy Bangla Banglar Joi, Ekbaar Jetey De Na Amar Sonar Gaye, Akasher Hatey Achey Ekraash Neel (Ayna o Oboshishto), Achen Amaar Mokhtar Achen Amaar Barrister (Golapi Akhon Train a) and many more. He once wrote 7 songs in 2 hours for Zahir Raihan’s film Dui Bhai, which provides us some insight about the stature of his talent. He received the prestigious Ekushey Padak, Shadhinata Padak and numerous National Film Awards. He is also renowned as a film director and producer of more than 38 films.
Anwar Hossain, Photographer
Born in 1948, Anwar Hossain is a veteran photographer and cinematographer. He studied Architecture in BUET and Film studies in Pune University. Through his lens, he captured the liberation war and the movements preceding it. Hossain won more than 60 international awards in photography. He filmed 15 fictions and 30 documentaries and published 8 major photo books. He began in 1969 with a humble camera that he bought for Tk 30. One of the photos from his first batch of clicks in 1969 won him a national award in Pakistan. He has been teaching for the last 40 years. Some of our most prized film makers like Tarek Masud, Tanveer Mokammel, Mishuk Munier have all been his students at some point in time.
In conversation with the Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
Anwar Hossain is fond of telling stories not only with his camera, but with words as well. Sharing a perilous experience with us, he said, “A small digital camera saved my life in 2010. In Park Street, Kolkata, I fell in a drain at dusk. This camera was near my chest. Another camera was hanging from my shoulder. The doctors said that this camera saved my ribcage. The camera was shattered. But nothing really happened to me.”
“When I think of Bangladesh, I think of the nature and the people. The nature and the people here are very beautiful. The expressions, the laughter and tears of people here are very beautiful. Since I was young, photography was my first love and the movement of 1969 started then, my growth in photography advanced with the liberation war. Among the village people and nature during the war, in the banks of Ichhamoti, it was my greatest experience I believe. One of the few iconic photos of the liberation war, there is one where the freedom fighters are chanting slogans raising their fists; I snapped that shot in that village with a very cheap camera.” – Anwar Hossain
Holding the Lifetime Achievement Award for Photography, iconic photographer Anwar Hossain exclaimed, “The purpose of my life is to create. None of us will live forever, but our creations can outlive us. “
Gazi Mazharul Anwar fondly recalls the beginning of his career, tells the audience, “I have a fun memory with Zahir Raihan. He wanted to shoot a film within 17 days. He told me on his way from FDC, “I will give you just two hours. You have to write six songs. He took me to his home. I don’t know how much confidence he had in me. The composer was Altaf Mahmud, who composed ‘Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushey February’. I was nervous at first. He said they couldn’t finish the film if it crosses 17 days. He then went somewhere and came back within two or three hours. He said, “I asked you to do this in two hours, you can take two days if you like.” I told him, “Don’t be surprised. I have finished the songs within one hour thirty five minutes.”
“I want to thank The Daily Star from the bottom of my heart for honouring an ordinary man like me with Lifetime Achievement Award. It is a big feat for me. I would also hope that this great effort will continue in the future. Because those of us who work in the cultural field, we value love over achievement”. – Gazi Mazharul Anwar
“It was a proud moment for me when BBC ranked three of my songs among the ten best Bengali songs of all time. It is another proud moment to be receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award”, remarked eminent lyricist Gazi Mazharul Anwar cradling the Lifetime Achievement Award for Music in his hands.