Waiting for rebirth of filmmaking
The New Year has started on a melancholy note with the passing of Chashi Nazrul Islam. Amongst the few good directors we had, he was one. We lost many such talents in the last few years as well, creating a gaping vacuum in the field of creative arts. Hopefully with time, the new and bright minds of tomorrow will take up the mantle. We have not seen a director from the young generation till now who can make films with good story, tasteful and also a commercially successful film in Bangladesh. That does not mean that such directorial talent does not exist. Sadly, we have simply not seen any filmmaker even attempting to break out of the formulaic mould and create something new. A new film called 'Zero Degree' is set to be released in February 2015, directed by Animesh Aich who is very well known for his work on television productions. I hope the audience will go see this new film because their judgement counts above all – and we will review how well the movie is received by the audience. If the audience enjoys this film, which I am sure will be different from most – might mark the beginning of a new trend. It might also encourage a lot of potential filmmakers who have different ideas, but are still wondering if it is worth taking the risk to create something deviant from the norm. To me, the genre or kind of film has no bearing on its success and acclaim. To me, there are only good films and bad films. In our country, people often hide behind the mask of producing so-called 'art' films and use this tag to explain why their films are neither critically acclaimed nor make good money. I wonder what keeps them going. Have they ever recounted their steps and thought, "Who am I making this for?" "How far away from the mind of the people do I have to be that all my films are failing to draw an audience?" I have even heard some filmmakers claim that the audience does not understand their work, and neither do the critics. To them I ask, "Who have you made the film for then?" "Who is your audience?" I think this is a perennial problem in Bangladesh – those who create are not able to connect to the minds of those they are creating for. It is high time that filmmakers realize that they must think, and think again. They should stop looking for excuses and try to understand the people, and then begin to develop a story. Making a film for the sake of itself adds nothing to the cultural landscape. In the start of the New Year, I hope we can think anew, take risks and attempt to reinvent ourselves and our thinking. Only then can we fill the shoes of the greats who have moved on beyond this life. Only then can we attempt to revive filmmaking in Bangladesh.