Swapnobhumi to be screened at Film South Asia | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, August 15, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, August 15, 2009

Swapnobhumi to be screened at Film South Asia


A scene from the film.

Tanvir Mokammel's documentary on the Urdu-speaking community in Bangladesh, "Swapnobhumi" (The Promised Land), will be screened at the seventh Film South Asia. The festival will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal, from September 17 to 20, according to a press release.
"Swapnobhumi" will feature in the competitive section. Mokammel will attend the festival.
The 90-minute documentary is a story about the Urdu-speaking community in Bangladesh, who are also known as 'Biharis' or 'Stranded Pakistanis'. The documentary narrates the woes of the 'Biharis' and their dream of a better life.
The terms 'Urdu-speakers,' "Non-Bengalees" and "Biharis" are used interchangeably to refer to Muslim people who originally emigrated from India to the newly created East Pakistan in 1947 and afterwards. At present about 160,000 people from this community live isolated in 116 camps or settlements all over Bangladesh.
Film South Asia '09 will open on September 17 and will end on September 20 with the award-giving ceremony. The festival will feature 36 films from south Asian countries. The best film will conferred with the 'Ram Bahadur' award and will receive a cash prize of $2000. The organisers will also select a new film for the 'Best Debut Film' award.
Film South Asia, which features only documentaries, was inaugurated in 1997 and has been held biennially in the capital of the Himalayan country.

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