Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki's film “Television”, which depicted a transforming society in the country and a growing conflict between tradition and modernity, bagged the top Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (Netpac) award at the Kolkata International Film Festival which concluded on Sunday. Festival chairman, veteran actor Ranjit Mullick and director Goutam Ghosh handed over the award to managing director of Impress Tele-film Limited and Channel i, Faridur Reza Sagar and actress Tisha. Faridur Reza Sagar thanked the festival organisers and film aficionados of Kolkata, claiming that the award will inspire more good films from Bangladesh.
The film had also been received warmly by the audience at the festival. Both the screenings drew large crowds, who commended the story, dialogues and acting.
This was the second time in three years that a Bangladeshi feature film bagged the prestigious award at the Kolkata festival. In November, 2011, it was Nasiruddin Yousuff's feature film “Guerrilla” which received the same award.
Altogether, nine films from Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Philippines, China, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand had contested for the award this year. A total of 189 films from 66 countries were screened during the eight-day festival.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hinted at more categories for competition in the forthcoming festival.
Yesteryear matinee idol Biswajit and veteran singer Dwijen Mukhopadhyay were also felicitated at the closing ceremony of the festival. The logo for the next edition of the festival was also unveiled.
The highlight of the closing ceremony was, however, the tribute to “Pancha Konya” - five daughters - of Bengal who have shone the brightest on the big screen -- from the first Indian Miss Universe and actress Sushmita Sen to screen sirens Bipasha Basu and Rani Mukherjee to yesteryear actress Moushumi Chatterjee and current Tolly heartthrob Koel Mullick. All the five ladies were felicitated on a star-studded evening at the Science City.
Sushmita, draped in red chiffon, walked tall as she spoke about the courage and conviction that she draws from the indomitable spirit of Bengal.
Bipasha stole the show with a typically Bengali get-up saree for the occasion. The actress, who spent her schooldays in Kolkata, was touched by the informal atmosphere on the dais. “It's (Bengal) like a family to me. Mamata'di has pampered us a lot,” she said.
Rani Mukherjee was roundly applauded as she walked up on dais and said she felt instant warmth as chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked her parents to come on stage too.