The 21st Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) concluded on Sunday, awarding Seyyed Morteza Fatemi-directed Iranian film ‘Bi-Madar’ (Motherless) as the Best Film this year.
As for the Bangladeshi films, the 2022 blockbuster ‘Hawa’ received the Audience Award in the Cinema of the World section; while Fakhrul Arefeen Khan-directed film ‘JK 1971’ got the Special Audience Award, Kazi Arefin Ahmed-directed short film Could You Be Free Yet Locked In won the Best Short Film and Khandaker Sumon-directed ‘Saatao’ (Memories of Gloomy Monsoons) won the Best Film Award by FIPRESCI Jury in the Bangladesh Panorama category.
A total of 18 awards were given in different categories at the closing ceremony of the 21st Dhaka International Film Festival, organised by the Rainbow Film Society at the Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum in the capital.
The closing ceremony was joined by ruling Awami League praesidium member Matia Chowdhury, the DIFF chief patron and state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh National Museum director general Kamruzzaman, information secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker, DIFF chairperson Kishwar Kamal and the DIFF festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal, among others.
In the Asian Cinema Competition Section, the Best Director award went to All Ghavitan for the film ‘Zendegi va Zendegi’ (Life and Life), the Best Actor went to Ikkei Watanabe for Naoki Maeda-directed film ‘Nakodo-Matchmakers’ (Marriage Counselor), and the Best Actress went to Ketaki Narayan for Krishnendu Kalesh-directed film ‘Prappeda’ (Hawk’s Muffin).
The award for Best Script Writer went to Anik Dutta for ‘Aparajito’ (The Undefeated) and the Best Cinematography award went to Artyom Anisimov for Evgeny Grigorev-directed Russian film ‘Podelniki’ (the Riot).
As for the Women Filmmakers Section, Maria Douza-directed Greek film ‘Akouse Me’ (Listen) received the award for Best Feature Film while the Best Documentary Award went to Sri Lanka’s Anomaa Rajakaruna-directed ‘Our Mother, Grandmother, Prime Minister: Sirimavo’ and the Best Director award went to Katharina Woll for the German film ‘Alle Wollen Geliebt Werden’ (Everybody Wants To Be Loved).
The Spiritual Films Section recognized this year’s submission with two special awards: the Best Documentary award went to Galina Evtushenko and Anna Evtushenko (Russia) directed ‘Mahatma Haffkine’ while the award for Best Fiction Film went to Kamrul Ahsan Lenin-directed film Ghore Fera (Home Coming).
Besides, the Best Children Film Badal Rahman Award went to Petr Oukropec-directed film ‘Mazel a tajemství lesa’ (Martin and the Magical Forest), a joint production of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany.
From January 15, the 21st DIFF featured a total of 252 films from 71 countries, including Bangladesh, India, China, Turkey, Iran, the United States, Sri Lanka and others. This year, Bangladesh was represented through 81 films including 12 full-length feature films and 69 short and independent films.
Films were screened at the Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib auditorium (main auditorium) and Poet Sufia Kamal auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum, National Art Gallery auditorium, Nandan Theatre open ground and Jatiya Sangeet and Nrityakala auditorium of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), Star Cineplex (Bashundhara City) and Alliance Francaise de Dhaka (Dhanmondi) in the capital.
The 21st DIFF also featured the Ninth Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema 2023 at the Samson Lounge, Dhaka Club, from January 15 to 16 and West Meets East: Screenplay Lab from January 15 to 18 at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka. This year, the festival hosted a day-long master class for the first time on January 21 at Bangladesh National Museum.
Rainbow Film Society has been organising Dhaka International Film Festival since 1992 with the theme Better Film, Better Audience, Better Society.
The next edition of DIFF will take place between January 20-28 in 2024, according to the festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal.
Source: United News of Bangladesh