‘Make movies on Rohingyas’ plight’
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen yesterday urged filmmakers to make films on the plight of Rohingyas to further illuminate to the global community the unimaginable atrocities committed against the ethnic group.
Rohingyas are victims of hatred and enmity in a land of Buddhism (Myanmar), which believes in Nirvana and self-purification, where hatred and killing is unthinkable and against Buddha's teachings, he said.
Dr Momen made the remark while inaugurating 19th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF), organised by Rainbow Film Society at the capital's National Museum.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar, and most of them arrived there from August 25, 2017, after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing", and was termed as genocide by other rights groups.
Indian High Commissioner Vikram K Doraiswami spoke as special guest at the inaugural ceremony of the festival, which will screen 226 films from 73 countries.
The foreign minister said films are one of the most poignant and invasive instruments accessible to humankind for venturing into realms of the mind, memory and imagination, which define the "human story".
Films depict the art that transcends boundaries and tell stories which, often, people are afraid to tell or look at, he added.
Noting that the pandemic has inflicted untold sufferings for artistes, he said the government has reopened theatres under conditions of health and social-distancing restrictions for the sake of the film industry.
Momen hoped that the festival would provide a boost to the country's film industry, and inspire all participating artistes to produce even better films in the future.
Lauding that this year's festival is dedicated to the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he said the festival is starting at a time when citizens are crossing over from "Mujib Year" to the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
The minister recalled that it was Bangabandhu who had first tabled the bill in the provincial assembly of erstwhile East Pakistan for formation of Film Development Corporation (FDC) in 1957.
FDC eventually became BFDC after independence and till today, holds and nurtures the principal foundation of Bangladesh's film industry, he said.
He was also glad that shooting of a biopic on the Father of the Nation, a Bangladesh-India joint venture production documenting the life and works of the greatest Bengali of all time, will commence this month, he said.