Volume 4 Issue 18| March 19, 2011|


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Cover Story
From Insight Desk

Celebrating the Gifts of Nature &
the Rivers of Bangladesh

Celebrating Life 2011 has just kicked off. And this year, we would like participants to focus on one of the most pressing challenges of our time: protecting the environment. The overarching theme for Celebrating Life 2011 is 'Celebrating the Gifts of Nature and the Rivers of Bangladesh'

If there is one thing Bangladesh is cherished and loved for, it is her scenic and natural beauty. At the country's south-eastern corner, we have the roar of the waves and sandy beaches; at its opposite end we have beautiful fountains, forests and tea gardens. In the south-west we have the Sundarban, home to hundreds of species of birds, animals and sea creatures who together form one of the most serene and aesthetically pleasing ecosystems known to man. Various water bodies of Bangladesh are resorts to tens of thousands of migratory birds. We want your films, photographs and lyrics to celebrate all the beautiful gifts that nature has given Bangladesh and its citizens; to celebrate the bounty of wealth that lay potent in mother earth's forests, rivers, and mountains.

Contestants are allowed complete freedom to explore any subject matter of their choice within this theme. However, we strongly encourage you to broaden your horizon of thinking and take your cameras and pens to the remotest corners of Bangladesh. We urge you to show us the beauty that lay hidden in rural Bangladesh.

For those who may not be fully aware, 'Celebrating Life' is a composite competition, inviting films, photographs and lyrics entries that showcase various aspects of life in Bangladesh. Organized jointly by The Daily Star and Standard Chartered, this initiative is our attempt to provide participants with a platform for creative expression, on a scale unprecedented in the local media scene.

Over the last three years, the contest has grown enormously in terms of number of participants, number of entries and it has grown far more diverse. The resonance of Celebrating Life 2011 will reach hundreds of thousands of more people, as the organizers have planned grander events throughout the year to showcase previous and this year's winning entries. In the spirit of patronizing quality of production over the total number, the organizers have raised the prize money in all three areas significantly for 2011. Celebrating Life 2011 will award prize money equal to 7 lac 65 thousand takas to ten winners in total! Over a dozen more will receive 'Honourable Mention' awards, along with crests and certificates. Winners will be announced at the Award Giving Gala Ceremony by the end of September 2011.

Weeklong festivals will be organized in twelve districts of Bangladesh throughout 2011, showcasing the winning entries from the previous years' and this year's contests. We will take the spirit of Celebrating Life to every corner of Bangladesh, and make sure that the whole nation can participate in the celebrations!

1. Amitabh Reza, 2. Nurul Alam Atiq &
3. Mejbaur Rahman Sumon

Lifetime Achievement Awards
In 2010, Celebrating Life Contests comprise Lifetime Achievement Awards, which pays due respect to those who have been involved in Filmmaking/ Television Production, Photography and Lyrics Writing for decades. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mostofa Monwar (Filmmaking/ Television Production), Rashid Talukder (Nawajes Ahmed Life Time Achievement Award For Photography) and Mohammad Rafiquzzaman (Lyrics).

The Lifetime Achievement Award Category is meant to honour those who have made significant contributions, each in their own fields, and have enabled their medium to reach a higher level. If you are one such person, please send a biography and short summary of your achievements to the organizers using the same address as the submission address. Please note that you must be an established media personality working as a Filmmaker/ Television Producer, Photographer or Lyricist. Detailed information can be found on www.celebratinglifebd.com

The film contest will invite entries across three segments: Best Film, Best Debut and the Critics' Award for Television Productions.

Best Film: In this segment, submissions will be awarded in the categories of Best Documentary and Best Short Fiction. The length of the films for the Best Film segment should be between 20 - 45 minutes.

Best Debut Film: In this segment, submissions will be awarded in the categories of Best Debut Documentary and Best Debut Short Fiction. The "Debut Film" segment shall invite entries between three to twelve minutes in length, encouraging experimentation and originality. All submissions must be in DVD format for preview purposes. Winners will be asked to provide master copies of their awarded films in DVCAM master format. Submissions must be original and unpublished work of the filmmakers. No submission can be returned to the participant.

Cash awards of Tk. 200,000 will be given to each of the two Best films from the Best Short Fiction and Best Documentary categories. Cash awards of Tk. 50,000 will be given to each of the two Best Debut Films. The winners will also receive certificates and crests. Those who are interested to participate in the film contest are strongly encouraged to participate in the Celebrating Life Film Making Workshop 2011.

This segment shall recognize the best of 2010's TV and Film productions based on the following categories: Best Director, Best Producer, Best Fiction, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cameraperson, Best Editor, Best Music Score/Sound, Best Script, and Best Costume/Makeup. The winners of this segment shall receive crests and certificates. A special Celebrating Life festival shall be organized, during which all winning entries will be screened on air by Channel I. The winning entries shall also be screened in festivals all over Bangladesh. Please note that no cash prizes shall be awarded in this category.

A special award shall be provided to a music personality (singer, director, musician or any other) in recognition of contributions made to the music industry of Bangladesh.

If your work has been aired on BTV or any of the satellite channels, and you think that it deserves critical recognition, please send it in to us on a DVD. Along with your entry, you must include a full cast and crew list printed on paper.

A jury board consisting of experts in the field will judge the submissions. The winning films will be broadcasted on Channel I and shall be screened in a touring festival program in twelve districts across Bangladesh. Eminent film directors have shown interest in working closely with the top two winners of this contest for upcoming projects.

Celebrating Life 2011 Film Making Workshops
In 2011, the film competition has transcended its definition to include capacity building to elevate the quality of participation and production under the banner of Celebrating Life. Celebrating Life is in its 4th year, and over the last three, the organizers have come to realize that despite an immense interest in film making, there exists a tremendous lack of capacity in film making. Therefore, in 2011, the film and the lyrics components will include workshops prior to the contest in order to enable creative minds to be able to produce better and more professional films and songs.

About the film workshops
For three months, April to June 2011, three media personalities will serve as the resource persons for film making workshops. The workshops will not only be theoretical, but will also include actual productions in the last month. Three groups will produce three films, under the closer supervision and direction of the resource persons themselves. The workshops represent a tremendous opportunity for budding film makers and freshers who are interested in film making to learn the process of professional film making step by step. The three resource persons for the Celebrating Life 2011 Film Making Workshops are Amitabh Reza, Nurul Alam Atiq and Mejbaur Rahman Sumon.

The three productions of the three workshops will be professionally organized, funded fully by Celebrating Life. The films will be broadcasted on television, and viewers will vote to rank them. The participants of each workshop will become part of the production team behind each film. Furthermore, these three films will be showcased next to the winning films of Celebrating Life 2011.

The participants of these workshops may participate in the film contest on their own accord, meaning their ing exercise where they will work in a team; on the other hand, the film contest will require each participant to submit his or her own original work. The film contest of Celebrating Life is still open to the general public meaning those that do not participate in the workshop are free to submit their own work to the Film Contest of 2011.

Important Dates

The last date of application for the Film Making Workshops 2011 is
31 March 2011

The last date of application for the Lyrics Writing Workshop 2011 is
31 March 2011

The opening date for accepting entries for all Celebrating Life 2011 contests is 1 May 2011

The last date of submission for all Celebrating Life 2011 contests is
30 June 2011

Eligibility Requirements and Application Rules for Film Making Workshops 2011:
Applicants of 30 years of age or less can apply.
Applicants with experience in the field will have to submit a show-reel in DVD, no longer than 5 minutes, of their previous works.

Applicants without previous experience can apply with a reference letter from renowned directors or anyone renowned in the media sector saying that they are capable of taking up the workshop while citing types of works done with them, or have assisted them with their works.

Applicants have to submit a script based on their own original idea they have conceptualized of showcasing on the screen. The script has to be shortened so that it can be screened in no more than 10 minutes and typed within 1000 words in one A4 page. Note: the idea has to be the applicant's own original idea and not based on existing literature and/ or productions.

Applicants have to submit an essay saying why they want to become a film director, and their views on Bangladesh's cinema within 1000 words in one A4 page.
Application Deadline: 31st March, 2011.

Other Important Information for Film Making Workshops 2011
A total of 30 participants will be selected based on show reel/ recommendation/ essay.

Workshop will be held for 3 months starting in April and ending in June, 2011.

9 most underachieving participants will not be allowed to continue in the workshop after the first month of the workshop.

6 most underachieving participants from the remaining 21 participants will not be allowed to continue in the workshop after the second month.

The remaining 15 participants will go on to finish the workshop with accomplished directors Amitabh Reza, Nurul Alam Atiq, and Mesba Ur Rahman Sumon.

The three directors will choose their own team of 5 from the 15 remaining participants to create a film depending on the director's choice of format from each team.

The whole workshop will be conducted by the three directors, with visiting lecturers chosen by them. The last month of the workshop will be used to produce the three, each under one of the conducting directors.

Application for participating in the workshop cannot be emailed. It has to be sent to the address below.

Interested applicants can apply with FULL NAME, MAILING ADDRESS, MOBILE PHONE NUMBER, OTHER CONTACT NUMBER, EMAIL, SHOW REEL/ RECOMMENDATION & ESSAY. Send your applications to the same address as entry submission.

Participants for the Film Making Workshop of 2011 will be selected throughout the month of March 2011. Apply now! For more details log onto www.celebratinglifebd.com

In the photography contest, participants are allowed to submit a maximum of 3 entries per person. A jury board composed of eminent personalities/experts in the field will judge the submissions, amongst which three winners will be selected who will receive certificates, crests and cash prizes. The winner will receive a cash prize of Tk. 100,000, the 1st runner's up entry will receive Tk. 50,000 and the 2nd runner's up entry will receive Tk. 25,000. Nine additional entries will receive honorable mention awards and certificates.

Only digital pictures will be accepted in CD/DVD format, the minimum acceptable resolution is 2000 pixels. Once the preliminary selection is finalized, the participants shall print out the chosen photographs and re-submit. The organizers have the right to disqualify any entry without any prior notification due to non-adherence to technical guidelines, or unacceptable nature of the content of the images. No submission can be returned to the participant.

Selected photographs will be featured in a district level festival all around Bangladesh. The top three winners of the photography competition will have an opportunity to work with The Daily Star as apprentices.

Celebrating Life 2011 Lyrics
Writing Workshop

Celebrating Life 2011 is expanding its field of vision from patronage to capacity building. In that respect, the organizers have also planned on-air Lyrics Writing Workshops (weekly Radio show) conducted by veteran lyricist Mohammad Rafiquzzaman, winner of Lifetime Achievement Award in Lyrics Category of Celebrating Life 2010. Other veterans will be invited to workshops as guests.

Participants can choose to simply listen to these workshops and use them as tutorials. The aim is to offer guidance in the pursuit of quality song writing. Those who want to participate in the workshop directly and become part of the Radio programme, please apply by March 2011.

Interested applicants can apply with FULL NAME, MAILING ADDRESS, MOBILE PHONE NUMBER, OTHER CONTACT NUMBER, EMAIL, & MOTIVATION LETTER. Send your applications to the same address as entry submission.

Entries can be in both English and Bengali, and participants can submit a maximum of 3 entries per person. A jury board composed of eminent personalities/experts in the field will judge the submissions, amongst which three winners will be selected who will receive certificates, crests and cash prizes. The winning entry will receive Tk. 50,000; the 1st runner's up entry will receive Tk. 25,000 and the 2nd runner's up entry will receive Tk. 15,000. An additional few will receive 'Honourable Mention' awards, along with crests and certificates.

Lyrics should be submitted in the form of computer printed hard copies. No submission can be returned to the participant. Renowned music directors and singers will compose songs based on the winning lyrics, and young and veteran singers will give voice to the songs. These songs will be featured on CDs. The prize-winning songs will also be performed at district level festival concerts all around Bangladesh.

Rules and Regulations of Celebrating Life 2011

1. How to submit: All entries must reach the Daily Star office by 30 June 2011. No entries will be accepted after the last date of submission, and no exceptions will be made.
2. Write your name, address, email address and cell phone number clearly in block letters on the envelope and on the back of each submission. In case of CDs/DVDs please ensure that all contact information is written on both the CD/DVD Cover and the CD/DVD itself.

3. Please retain a copy with yourself, because no entries will be returned to the participant.

4. The results will be published in The Daily Star after the Awards Giving Ceremony in Star Insight Magazine. Keep reading the leading English daily!

5. Personal calls are prohibited. Any persuasion, verbal or written, will result in immediate disqualification. Read the website thoroughly for any queries. If you have a query, please email us at <celebratinglife.contest@gmail.com>, we will reply as soon as possible.

6. The same person can take part in more than one or in all three contests.

7. There is no age limit. Any Bangladeshi or any foreigner residing in Bangladesh is eligible.

Address your entries/submissions/applications to
Festival Director, Celebrating Life
The Daily Star, Floor 7
64-65 Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue
Dhaka 1215, Bangladesh


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