Film enthusiasts gathered at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium of the Central Public Library for the opening ceremony of the 15th International Short and Independent Film Festival, on December 7. Organised by Bangladesh Short Film Forum, the festival will conclude on December 13.
The event was inaugurated in the presence of the chief guest, Dr AK Abdul Momen, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs. 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.
“We wanted to revive the lost heritage of independent cinema aesthetics, which we believe film practitioners of today feel disconnected to, due to the globalisation syndrome,” said N Rashed Chowdhury.
“We organised the festival with an objective to create a space where aspiring filmmakers could be introduced to films across the world and could share their ideas with like-minded individuals. The difference between this film festival and others is that ours is entirely organised by aspiring filmmakers,” added Zahidur Rahman Anjan.
Celebrated filmmaker Morshedul Islam received the annual Hiralal Sen Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to independent films in Bangladesh.
The weeklong festival, held across the Central Public Library, Bangladesh National Museum and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, will feature more than 200 independent films from 45 countries across the globe. The event will have film screenings from different categories of the competition, including Tarek Shahriar Independent Shorts, NETPAC Jury Awards and Country and Region Focus, along with retrospective screenings. Furthermore, it will feature a master class, three film workshops as well as tribute screenings of films by directors who have passed away.