Director Abdullah Mohammad Saad's film "Rehana Maryam Noor" has been selected under Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard section, which honours films that tell non-traditional stories. This makes it the first Bangladeshi film to be officially selected for the prestigious festival.
Born in Bangladesh in 1985, Saad studied Didactics at University of Dhaka, before switching to Filmmaking. He has produced short films and commercials under his own production company. As a filmmaker, Saad is known to keep a low profile. His debut feature film, "Live from Dhaka" (2016), received Silver Screen Awards for Best Director and Best Performance (Mostafa Monwar) at the 27th Singapore International Film Festival. It took Bangladesh's film fraternity by surprise when it became the first film to be fully featured in the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The film, portrayed in black and white, comprises of a series of vignettes which showcases the anguish of a disabled man trying to leave Dhaka. Saad was the first winner in The Daily Star-Standard Chartered Bank's Celebrating Life Award in 2008.
His film, "Rehana Maryam Noor" revolves around Rehana, an assistant professor at a medical college. While she continues to balance her roles as a medical professional, a mother, and a teacher among others, her life changes once she witnesses an unexpected incident involving a female student. The incident propels her into protests and a fight against the system on behalf of the student and her daughter. "Rehana Maryam Noor" is also written and edited by Saad. Actor Azmeri Haque Badhon plays the lead role in this film. She stepped into the entertainment industry after winning the 2nd runner-up title at Lux Channel i Superstar 2006, before making her way into acting.