The 15th International Short and Independent Film Festival came to an end on December 13. The festival was organised by Bangladesh Short Film Forum.
K M Khalid, Minister of Cultural Affairs, attended the programme as the chief guest. Eminent Indian filmmakers Kumar Shahani and Kamal Swaroop were the guests of honour. Zahidur Rahman Anjan, President of Bangladesh Short Film Forum, Nasiruddin Yousuff, Chairman of the festival committee and N Rashed Chowdhury, Director of the festival committee, were also present.
The programme began with the musical performance by Khokan Boyati and his troupe from Kishorganj. Aside from film screenings, the festival featured four workshops, two lecture sessions and one masterclass. The final day of the festival featured a "Children's Session", screening fiction and animated short films across the globe.
The films of the festival were awarded in four categories - International Competition ( Fiction), International Competition ( Documentary), NETPAC Jury Award and Tarek Shahriar Best Independent Shorts.
The winner of the Tarek Shahriar Independent Shorts Award was awarded to Biplob Sarkar ( Life Is Elsewhere) and Mashroor Parvez ( The Dog's Illusion) received the special jury award. The winner of the International Competition (Fiction) was awarded to Diana Saqueb Jamal ( Roqaia), the film was a collaboration between Bangladesh and Afghanistan .
The award for the International Competition (Documentary) was given to Payal Kapadia ( And What is the summer saying). The winner of the NETPAC Jury Award was Subarna Senjutee Tushee (Meenalap)."What some of the aspiring filmmakers in Bangladesh are doing here with such little resources are at times better than big film schools in India or anywhere," said Kamal Swaroop.
The Director of the festival committee, N Rashed Chowdhury suggested to make the festival a more interactive programme next time. He also requested the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to consider accomodating the festivals of short and independent cinema of the world into their regular budget events and to organise the festival biannually with the Bangladesh Short Film Forum.
“Festivals help us to know each other and be united. We hope to develop the screenings of the films with the help of the Government and arrange the 16th Film Festival in 2021," said Nasiruddin Yousuff, Chairman of the festival committee.
Celebrated filmmaker Morshedul Islam received the Hiralal Sen Lifetime Achievement Award in this biannual festival for his contribution to independent films in Bangladesh.