Kohinur Akhtar Shuchanda (left); Riaz and Shoshi in Hajar Bochhor Dhorey (right)
Kohinur Akhtar Shuchanda popularly known as 'Shuchanda' is a noted film actor of yesteryears. As a director she has achieved success as well. Her second movie, Hajar Bochhor Dhorey, won six National Awards for the year 2005.
Hajar Bochhor Dhorey has won awards for best film, best producer, best director, best music director, best storywriter and best art director.
An enthusiastic Shuchanda said, "I'm really happy that my film won the awards, however, I expected more awards in other categories such as best screenplay and best actor."
"Making a film based on a popular story is challenging. Throughout the shooting I was tensed as the film is based on Zahir Raihan's Adamjee Award winning novel with the same title and the expectations were high. Thanks to my groundwork for five years, I've managed it well," she added.
Was the film commercially successful? Analysing the current movie market, Shuchanda said, "It was not a blockbuster, however, considering the current stagnant situation of the movie industry, it was not financially a loss either.
"Moreover, those who always complain about the shortage of quality movies in the country never go to theatres when decent films are released. How will decent movies do business then?"
Shuchanda demands the improvement of the movie theatres and controlling of video piracy. She said, "Viewers, especially women face hassles going to movie theatres. Moreover, the theatres don't provide necessary services to make the movie watching experience satisfactory. As a result most people watch television and the cable operators show pirated copies of Bangla films. So, they never feel any urge to go to the theatres."
On her emergence as a film director, Shuchanda said, "My husband Zahir Raihan insisted me to direct films. Watching my husband's woks, I was also keen on directing films. But, after the disappearance of Zahir Raihan following the Liberation War, I was struggling for survival, which is why I left the film industry for several years. Then I began producing films."
"As a producer I always worked with the crew closely to learn the technical aspects of the medium. After I gathered enough confidence, I emerged as a director in 1998 with the film Bidesh Jatra," she added.
Shuchanda's debut as an actor happened with the movie Kagojer Nouka (1966), directed by Soovas Dutt. In the '60s she was one of the leading actors of the film industry. She had acted in about 100 movies. As an actor she won a Nigar Award from Pakistan in 1987 for her role in Hum Ek Hain -- a joint venture of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.
Comparing the state of the film industry in the '60s with that at present, Shuchanda said, "Totally two different worlds. Those days we maintained a harmonious relationship with each other. The industry was full of talented actors. Though the scenario is improving, many talented people are not interested in the film industry now because of a few of culprits -- basically producers and directors, who have destroyed the industry by releasing substandard vulgar movies.”