Abu Sayeed’s Rupantor wins top prize at Bhopal film fest | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, June 23, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, June 23, 2009

Abu Sayeed’s Rupantor wins top prize at Bhopal film fest


A scene from “Rupantor.”

Bangladeshi director Abu Sayeed's latest feature film "Rupantor" (The Transformation) was adjudged the best international entry at the 'International Festival of Films on Tribal Art and Culture' held in Bhopal, capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Sayeed's work based on an episode from the epic "Mahabharat" was chosen for the top award at the second edition of the festival by a jury headed by veteran Indian director Basu Chatterjee.
Among other members of the jury were actor Sadhu Meher and officials of National Film Development Corporation, Censor Board, state-owned TV channel Doordarshan and Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
"Rupantor" beat off competition from 69 films drawn from 39 participating countries.
"Rupantor" revolves around a young director Arif's interpretation of the Mahabharat story of warrior-archer Eklavya offering his thumb to his guru Dronacharya. While shooting his film, Arif discovers that local Santal archers do not use the thumb at all.
This was the first award for "Rupantor" made last year and Sayeed was elated as this correspondent broke the news about his film winning the award yesterday morning.
The director said that he was disappointed by the lukewarm audience response that "Rupantor" got in Bangladesh and Europe. However, he was glad at the reaction the film evoked in festivals in Bangalore, Goa, Thirunvananthapuram and Kolkata.
The making of "Rupantor" involved a lot of money for the director who now faces financial crunch. To tide over that crunch, he has started shooting a TV serial "Pashapashi" for ATN Bangla. The shooting began in Dhaka recently, Sayeed said.
The award for the best Indian film went to Roshani Bhati and Ravi for "Lamsena" focusing on the love traditions among the Bega community of central India.
"Kare-Kare Zvako" (Mother's Day) by Zimbabwe's Tsitsi Dangarembga, a film based on a drought-hit family, was selected as the best by an indigenous filmmaker.
The Jury award went to the French animated film "Matopos" by Stephonie Machuret and "All The World is a Stage" by India's Nirmal Chander.
The awards, given away by leading Indian director-producer Prakash Jha who was the chief guest at the presentation function last Sunday night, comprised a trophy, citation and a certificate.
The second edition of the festival drew good response from the indigenous communities of Madhya Pradesh who thronged in large number and watched the films.

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