A Geek's Paradise
Dhaka's first ever Science Fiction Convention was held at the Emmanuelle's Banquet Hall in Gulshan-1 from September 3 to 5, 2015. It was a treat for diehard sci-fi fans as current and classic sci-fi films and series were recreated and unleashed under one roof.
Fans ranging from toddlers to teenagers to adults assembled to get their share of the awesome experience and to mingle with their fellow sci-fi, fantasy and tech lovers.
Upon entering, the first thing you'd stumble upon was a small food outlet. To the right of the food place was the hall, where the main event was held. From the doorway it was beautifully decorated with photo booths featuring sci-fi films and cut-outs of popular characters.
An enormous Baymax, the superhero bodyguard from Big Hero 6, greeted guests at the entrance. Located at the heart of the hall was a realistic model of a Batpod. Photo booths featuring Star Wars, Star Trek, The Avengers, Dragon Ball Z, The Terminator, E.T., Inception, Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, Lucy etc. were lined up at the hall; cut-outs and models of sci-fi favourites Spock, Darth Vader, Goku, Morpheus and others were present throughout the premises.
Also present at one corner were three of the most brilliant minds the world has known – Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking – and the pioneers of modern technology, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The hall also had fun rides for children.
Azmal Hossain, who was enjoying the sci-fi con with his friend, said, "The event's quite nice and unique, and for a debut, I think they've done quite well. But I do hope they will add more movies and characters, and move the event to a bigger venue from next year onwards."
Although the turnouts were low on the first and third day, people showed up at the venue in big numbers on the second day, as it was a Friday. A spectrum of colourful and spectacular lights in addition to Daft Punk music created a fun atmosphere for the visitors. They were seen taking photos at the booths, children were happily running around and hopping on their favourite rides, and cosplayers were busy covering the length of the hall – taking photos with the visitors and responding to their questions.
A multitude of cosplayers turned up at the event. The vibrant atmosphere was further elevated by the attendance of a Predator, a Storm Trooper, Iron Man, and countless others blending in with the crowd. Competitions were arranged for the cosplayers on the second and third days of the event where they donned the outfits of their favourite sci-fi characters, took to the stage and set the podium on fire (not literally). A dance performance at the end wrapped up the cosplay competition.
Shafqat Aziz, who cosplayed as Anakin Skywalker of the Star Wars franchise, expressed how he portrayed his childhood hero: "I love Star Wars and looked up to Anakin Skywalker because I always dreamt of becoming a pilot, and he was the best pilot in the galaxy."
Adjacent to the main hall was a staircase which led to the stalls on the first floor. Stalls of Fix It, Kaymu.com and TechshopBD were selling electrical appliances and devices, while stalls of Rokomari.com and Science Fiction Boishomuho were selling Bengali science fiction books. The Daily Star also had a stall and SHOUT had a photo booth where cosplayers and visitors were getting their photos taken. Of all the stalls, the busiest one was the 3 Otaku Store which was selling t-shirts, posters and merchandise featuring movie and series characters.
When asked why the Science Fiction Convention was hosted, Sharif Sadik, one of the directors of Fun Factory Rides and an organiser of the event, replied, "It's because people are getting more into technology. There are other conventions but we decided to do a science fiction convention to bring together sci-fi fans. In addition, what we see in today's science fiction movies will turn into reality tomorrow so we are also trying to familiarise people with the possible scientific discoveries and inventions of the future."
The event can be considered a success as everything ran smoothly throughout the course of the three days. The amazed and jovial looks on the faces of the visitors and cosplayers can attest to that.
SHOUT was the Youth Partner of Sci-Fi Convention Dhaka 2015.
PHOTOS: DARSHAN CHAKMA
DOLON TALUKDER & TANISHA MEHREEN
Tahmeed Chaudhury is a diehard Liverpool fan and a procrastinator who dislikes being asked questions. Don't ask him questions at [email protected]