Faridur Reza Sagar speaks and other dignitaries seen seated at the inaugural programme (left); a scene from Kittonkhola (right).
The Gorky Sadan at the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Kolkata has been decorated with posters of seven Bangladeshi movies. The occasion is the six-day "Nakshi Kantha Film Festival," -- inaugurated by eminent Indian filmmaker Mrinal Sen.
Organised by the Kolkata based Eisenstein Cine Club and Bengali film lovers Society in association with Bangla Telefilm Club, the six-day film festival will continue from July 21 to 26 in Kolkata.
Seven movies produced by Impressed Telefilm will be screened at the festival. Perhaps this is the first time that seven films of a production house are being screened at a film fest abroad.
Movies that will be screened at the festival are: Kittonkhola (directed by Abu Sayeed), Ghani (Kazi Murshed), Aha! (Enamul Karim Nirjhar), Ek Khondo Jomi (Shahjahan Chowdhury), Bachelor (Mostafa Sarwar Farooki), Roopkothar Golpo (Tauquir Ahmed) and Noy Number Bipod Sanket (Humayun Ahmed).
Renowned Indian filmmakers Mrinal Sen, Goutam Ghose, Tarun Majumdar; noted actress Madhabi Mukherjee; Faridur Reza Sagar, managing director of Impress Telefilm Ltd; Bangladeshi filmmaker Shahjahan Chowdhury and film activist Ahmed Muztaba Zamal spoke at the inaugural programme.
Appreciating the initiative of screening contemporary Bangladeshi movies in Kolkata, discussants expected more such cultural exchange programmes.
Faridur Reza Sagar said, “Our intention is not just to produce quality films but also to take the movies to Bangla speaking people all over the world.”
Goutam Ghose said, “Bengali filmmakers from India and Bangladesh should work together to target the global market. I hope this festival will help to form such initiatives.”
Madhabi Mukherjee said, “These days we don't get to see a lot of decent Bangla films. Hopefully people of Kolkata will enjoy these movies.”
Ahmed Muztaba Zamal said, “We hope to arrange festivals like this in both countries regularly.”
Mrinal Sen said, “It's the beginning of a new era.”
A one-minute silence was observed to honour the Bangladeshi theatre icon Selim Al Deen. Everyone hoped for the fast recovery of ailing actor Raisul Islam Asad.
The discussion was followed by a screening of Abu Sayeed's film, Kittonkhola. The movie is based on a Selim Al Deen play with the same title. Kittonkhola received Bangladeshi National Award in seven categories, including the best director award in 2000. The film was jointly produced by Angik Communications and Impress Telefilm Ltd.
Set against the backdrop of a rural mela, Kittonkhola features the cultural heritage as well as the struggles of jatra artistes.