Guerrilla Asia's best
Bangladeshi feature film 'Guerrilla', which recreates the heroic deeds of freedom fighters of the 1971 Liberation War on an epic canvas, today won the best Asian film award at the 17th Kolkata Film Festival (KFF).
Altogether 12 films competed in the Asian Select section for the NETPAC award. This was for the first time a separate competitive section was introduced in KFF.
Directed by eminent theatre personality Nasiruddin Yousuf, 'Guerrilla', is regarded as one of the best Bangladeshi movies ever made on the history of liberation.
The film is based on Syed Shamsul Haq's novel 'Nishiddho Loban' and the director's personal war-time experiences as a freedom fighter.
Film director Sandwip Ray, son of famed late director Satyajit Ray, presented the award to Nasiruddin.
Presenting a shawl to the award winner, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said "it is a matter of great happiness that a film on Bangladesh's Liberation War has got the honour…. Songs like "Sono Ekti Mujibarer Konthey" and "Amar Sonar Bangla..." inspired us during the Liberation War.”
"I dedicate the award to the martyrs of the Liberation War", a jubilant Nasiruddin told The Daily Star over the phone.
Asked how he felt having won the award, he said "as someone who has taken part in the Liberation War and someone who wanted to leave an artistic document for posterity on the subject, I'm naturally very happy."
"The film is a very brave attempt in recreating the genocide which happened during the war. I have attempted to tell the stories which have never been told before," he added.
Released in April, the movie featuring Joya Ahsan, Ferdous Ahmed, Pijush Bandopadhyay, Ahmed Rubel, Shatabdi Wadud, Shampa Reza and A T M Shamsuzzaman, among others, narrates the gripping tale of Bilkis (played by Joya) whose husband disappears as the Liberation War breaks out.
As the war progresses, Bilkis finds herself being drawn to the freedom movement. She starts actively collaborating with the freedom fighters, hoping for the safe return of her husband.
Some of the other films competing in the section were Chinese film 'Aftershock', Iran's 'A Meeting', Ravi Jadhav's 'The Story of Balgandharva', Korea's 'Dance Town' and Bengali film 'Ichchhe'.