Festivals like DIFF enhance country’s image globally: Dr Hasan Mahmud

Reflecting on the necessity of global festivals for the betterment of cultural practices, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said on Sunday that Bangladesh has earned the respect of the world through successfully arranging globally admired cultural rendezvous like Dhaka International Film Festival every year.

The minister called off the curtain for the nine-day Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) and handed over the awards to the recipients as the chief guest, attending its concluding ceremony at the Bangladesh National Museum in the city on Sunday while State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid joined the ceremony as the special guest.

The program was presided over by festival executive committee member M Hamid and hosted by the festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal, while State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chief Patron of the festival M Shahriar Alam also joined the ceremony, among others.

Thanking the organizers for paying homage to the memory of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the 19th DIFF was dedicated to him, marking the occasion of his birth centenary as ‘Mujib Borsho’ and also successfully organizing the festival amid the pandemic, Dr Hasan Mahmud said this type of global festival is important for the society and the Information Ministry will be more associated with the festival from next year.

“Although the world is exploring an overwhelming growth of the OTT platforms, cinema halls-multiplexes-festivals never lost the appeal from the movie lovers. Netflix and most of the other OTT Platforms are rooted from the United States and India, however, still there are approximately 6,000 movie theatres in the United States and 8,000 in India.”

State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said, “This is such a prestigious film festival for Bangladesh, and our Ministry will increase its cooperation in the future editions of this wonderful international festival. Congratulations to the organizers for successfully arranging the festival this year, overcoming the hurdles ignited by the pandemic.”

The 19th edition of DIFF showcased a total of 227 films from around 73 countries. Films in the festival are being screened at six venues – the main auditorium and Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum, Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of the Sufia Kamal National Public Library, the National Art Gallery Auditorium, and Music and Dance Centre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Nandan Mancha of the Academy for open-air screening, and Bashundhara City and Shimanto Shambhar branches of Star Cineplex. Aside from these venues, the festival screened films using the virtual platform for the first time.

All these films competed in the diversified sections in the 19th DIFF, including the “Asian Cinema Competition”, “Retrospective”, “Bangladesh Panorama”, “Cinema of the World”, “Children Films”, “Women Filmmakers”, “Short and Independent Films” and “Spiritual Films”.

The 2021 festival showcased feature films on global leaders under a new segment titled “Legendary Leaders Who Changed the World” for the first time in its history, honoring the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation and the Founding President of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, as part of the ‘Mujib Borsho’ celebration across the country.

The 19th edition also held a special segment titled “Tribute”, honoring the Oscar-winning cinema titan Satyajit Ray, also on the occasion of his birth centenary. Some of his notable films including “Pather Panchali”, “Aparajito”, “Jalsaghar”, “Apur Sansar”, “Ashani Sanket”, “Sonar Kella” and “Hirak Rajar Deshe” has been screened at the festival as part of this Section.

The films were screened from January 16 to January 24 at all the selected venues in the capital. Organizers Rainbow Film Society also hosted “7th edition of Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema” on January 17-18, an international film-marketplace conference ‘West Meets East’ on January 19 and the special commemorative hybrid seminar titled “Satyajit Ray: National as Global”, remembering the Oscar-winning film-maestro Satyajit Ray on his birth centenary with distinguished guests including veteran actors in the subcontinent Sharmila Tagore and Dhritiman Chatterjee along with Supreme Court Justice and art enthusiast Syed Refaat Ahmed, cultural activist and trustee of Bangladesh Liberation War Museum Mofidul Hoque and art critic Moinuddin Khaled, presided by eminent thespian and former cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor. All of these special programs were held at the National Theatre Hall auditorium at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA).

Source: United News of Bangladesh