Mohammad Ruman Shana wins gold in archery men’s singles

Bangladeshi celebrated archer Mohammad Ruman Shana won the gold medal in the final of the Asia Cup Ranking Tournament individual event. This is yet another big win for Shana. He previously owned two more gold medals in the International Archery Tournament in Bishkek in 2017. He won the other in the 1st Asian Archery Grand Pix in Thailand in 2014.

Journey to the arch of gold!

According to UNB, the 24-year-old archer beat Shi Zhengi of China. He beat him by 7-3 set points in the final at Clark City in the Philippines on 13th of September.

Shana beat Thiha Htet Zaw of Myanmar by 6-0 sets in the round of 16, on the way to his finals. Furthermore, he beat Thepna Denchai of Thailand by 6-0 sets points in the round of eight. In the quarter-final, he outplayed Yang Huie Jhe of Chinese Taipei by 7-1 sets points.

In a post-match reaction, he talked about his experience mentioning, “This is really good. I’m so happy. It is a great achievement for Bangladesh, We are trying to promote Bangladesh on the world stage. We hope we can keep this up.”

Modhumoti Bank Ltd sponsored The Bangladesh Team conceded a 3-5 set of points defeat a 3-5 set-points defeat the Chinese team. This is a big win for Rumon Shana and hopefully many more to go!

Bangladesh will send its own Miss Universe Contestant this year

Bangladesh will participate for the first time in the 68th edition of the Miss Universe beauty pageant in South Korea on December 2019. After the selection process, the Miss Universe Bangladesh grand finale will be held on 23rd October in Dhaka. In the Grand Finale, Bollywood superstar and Miss Universe 1994, Sushmita Sen will be one of the judges and will crown the winner. 

‘Confidently Beautiful’

The motto is “Confidently Beautiful”.  In addition to beauty, the pageant is focusing on different positive personality traits.

 “Miss Universe Bangladesh will feature some of the most beautiful, intelligent, elegant, talented and confident women of our country”

said Mr. Rizwan Bin Farouq  chairman of ‘Miss Universe Bangladesh’.

Miss Universe uses the spotlight to focus on social issues and the ability of the contestants to bring about change. In addition to their beauty and grace, Miss Universe Bangladesh will be selected based on her ability to take on social challenges and will be dedicated to humanitarian causes. She will be a goodwill ambassador for the country. The platform will be used to highlight and bring awareness about gender-based violence issues in the country.

Bangladesh will send its own Miss Universe Contestant this year

“It is a great honor to be a part of this prestigious event, our main objective is to empower women and fight violence against women. Through the Miss Universe  Bangladesh platform, Flora Bank will also access [the] global market”. 

Mustafa Rafiqul Islam, the Managing Director of Flora Bank, the title sponsor of the event.

In addition to Flora Bank, other sponsors and partners are Inglot, Splash, Yellow, Shohoz, Misfit Technologies, Northbrook consultants, Bagher Bachcha Digital and Bangladesh Heritage Craft Foundation.

What is Miss Universe? 

Bangladesh will send its own Miss Universe Contestant this year

The winner of Miss Universe Bangladesh will then participate in the Miss Universe pageant. Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant, since 1952. 

The competition features a variety of segments, including an athletic wear segment, a national costume segment and an evening gown segment. Contestants are asked country-specific questions or social, political or moral questions in the interview segment. Whoever goes as far as to win Miss Universe, gets an opportunity to travel to New York City, make media appearances, visit charitable organizations and sponsor events. The crowned Miss Universe must raise awareness and funds for charitable causes.

Miss Universe 2018

Bangladesh will send its own Miss Universe Contestant this year

Previous Miss Universe title Holders have been from South Africa, France, Columbia. Miss Universe 2018 is Catriona Gray, from the Philippines. The 25-year-old, who was crowned last year, is passionate about the arts and previously received her Master Certificate in Music Theory from Berklee College of Music. She works closely with Young Focus Philippines, an education-based NGO that provides free education and school sponsorships for children in Tondo Manila, one of the poorest neighbourhoods within the country’s capital city. Catriona is an advocate for HIV/AIDS education, and now as Miss Universe, plans to bring more awareness to the epidemic.

A global platform

Bangladesh will send its own Miss Universe Contestant this year

The competition will be an opportunity for the contestant from Bangladesh to promote themselves and the country,  to highlight impact-driven work in the country. According to Miss Universe, the women who compete embody the modern, global aspiration for the potential within all women. 8000 aspiring women from all over the country have already registered online. The registration process will conclude on September 15th. 

Unmarried women between the age of 18 to 28 will be able to participate in the competition. ‘Miss Universe Bangladesh’ will be aired on RTV. 

Numair Atif becomes the first Bangladeshi to be shortlisted for Shakti Bhatt prize 2019

In honour of Shakti Bhatt, the renowned editor of an Indian publishing house Bracket Books, the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize continues to acknowledge literature from all over the South Asian continent.

Dr Numair Atif Choudhury is on the shortlist for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2019 for his literature piece Babu Bangladesh! The writer passed away in an accident a few months prior to his book’s publication.

In an article written by Talita Choudhury, Numair’s sister, she remembers the memories and emotional battles the writer had to tackle all the while, to create a story which would hit home.

While self -reflecting in a conversation with her he mentions,

“I am open to criticism and have changed all the parts that were not pleasurable to read. I respect my audience. Moreover, the book that is to be published must be of mettle that justifies the claim it has made of a decade of my life.”

Another year later, only a little further along with his narrative, Numair emailed a section from the chapter ‘Bird‘ stating to Talita saying, “Here’s something I edited today, took me forever to get the right voice.”

Source: Google

Babu Bangladesh! A national superhero

Numair Atif’s Babu Bangladesh! is a biography creating a national superhero who has lived through both his country’s traumatic, bloody past and his chaotic fast-approaching future. According to the writer, his piece falls under both fictional biography and magical realism. He mentions that the five chapters contain various elements that relate to one another.

With the chaotic political situations and subtle hints of harsh realities, the writer showed the struggles the protagonist faced head-on. Numair Atif did not shy away from creating a beautiful piece by merging and making a perfect balance of imagination and reality.

The unfortunate turn of events only makes us realize the loss of our thriving culture has faced. However, like every creative artist, Dr Numair Atif has left his work for his readers to read and embark on the journey of truth.

“Made in Bangladesh” to be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival

2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is starting in a week. And “Made in Bangladesh”, a film by Bangladeshi filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain, is going to be premiered at the TIFF 2019, under the Contemporary World Cinema category.

What is TIFF

“Made in Bangladesh” to be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival

Founded in 1976, Toronto International Film Festival has now become one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world. TIFF is providing the platform for aspiring filmmakers to kick start their careers and the opportunity to showcase their new works.

There are about 12 types of programmes and categories in TIFF. Films of narrative style which are usually made by young established directors fall under TIFF’s category: “Contemporary World Cinema”.

This year marks the 44th edition of TIFF.  It’s a 10-day festival, from 5 September 2019 to 15 September 2019.

About “Made in Bangladesh”

“Made in Bangladesh” to be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival

“Made in Bangladesh” is Rubaiyat Hossain’s third feature-length film.

The protagonist of the film is a worker of the ready-made garment (RMG) sector named Shimu. The character is based on a real-life person who acted as a consultant throughout the making of the film.

“Made in Bangladesh” is the story of Bangladesh’s RMG sector. How this sector empowers women, how it makes them financially independent and provides them socio-economic independence. On-screen, the film laments the obstacles female workers face and also celebrates their success.

Read more: French movie “Fahim” to portray the story of Bangladeshi chess prodigy

All about women empowerment

“Made in Bangladesh” to be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival

The film talks about women empowerment in every way possible. The director herself is a woman. So is the production designer, sound editor, cinematographer and art director.

“One of the things I’m proud of about the film is that all the major departments were headed by women”

Said Rubaiyat Hossain.

Production Information

“Made in Bangladesh” to be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival

The film, which began its production phase on 17th April 2019, chose different locations of Dhaka and Gazipur of Bangladesh as shooting spots and continued for around 36 days.

The film is co-produced by Bangladesh, France, Denmark, and Portugal. It was also financed by France’s CNC fund, Norway’s Sørfond plus, the EU’s Eurimages fund and Denmark’s Danish Film Institute fund. Pyramid International is the French distributor and international sales agent for the film.

A big step for Bangladeshi films

Not saying there are no good films being made in our country. Of course, a handful of really good films have been made in the last century. Watching them, people in Bangladesh have been growing a better taste in the moving pictures. And “Made in Bangladesh” helps this process to gain momentum.

TIFF 2019 premiering “Made in Bangladesh’ is indeed a huge move forward for Bangladeshi films.

It is promising and hopeful for the young aspiring filmmakers. Especially, the story on screen and behind the camera is motivating for all women.

Bangladesh premier

Rubaiyat Hossain has expressed her anticipations that “Made in Bangladesh’ will be soon premiered at the Dhaka Internation Film Festival. She also expects for a local distributor to make her film commercially available to Bangladeshi audience through cinema halls. 

We cannot wait to watch it!

Like our content? Follow us on our Facebook page for regular updates. We want to hear from you. Take a moment to write to us with your stories, contributions and suggestion. Contact us for advertising and partnership opportunities at [email protected] Thank you!

64 years of Pather Panchali: What made the Ray classic ahead of its time

Pather Panchali is not only a film. It’s a direct peek into the Bengali Society of the early twentieth century. With its universal humanitarian approach, Pather Panchali paints strong emotional strokes into the hearts of its viewers. 

If anyone asks what this film is to me, I’ll reply in one line. This film makes me grieve for a sister that I never had in real life. 

It’s one of the few evergreen films out there. Even after its 64th anniversary, people watch and empathize with this masterpiece.

It’s surprising when you realize that this was the debut film of Satyajit Ray. 

Stories inside and outside

Let’s talk about the film. We all know that the whole Apu trilogy is marvellous. There are very few people who haven’t come across the Train-Running scene from this film. I haven’t come to analyze this masterpiece. Rather I am here to discuss stories. Stories from both inside and outside the film. 

And in between the stories, we will explore some reasons why one should watch it even after 64 years of its release. 

Stellar acting

64 years of Pather Panchali: What made it ahead of its time

The acting performance of Chunibala Devi (Indir Thakrun) has surpassed the level of comparison. She showed us how even a simple activity like eating can give emotional blows to the viewers. Unlike Chunibala Devi, Karuna Banerjee was completely new to cinema acting. But still, you’ll see flawless acting from her in the movie. 

In real life, Karuna Banerjee was an extremely soft person. Her daughter Runki Banerjee told in an interview that for this role Karuna became the complete opposite. She became the harsh, strong mother who quarrels. 

64 years of Pather Panchali: What made it ahead of its time

Kanu Banerjee, Subir Banerjee, and Uma Dasgupta created an acting level of their own in this film. But it was Satyajit Ray who brought them together and composed this art piece.  

Brilliant Cinematography

Subrata Mitra was the cinematographer of Pather Panchali. This was also his first-ever film making. Subrata had never operated a film camera before and before Pather Panchali, he was a photographer. Before the shooting of Pather Panchali, Subrata and Satyajit went to the scene with a borrowed up 60mm camera to learn everything. 

But on the first watch, you will see an amazing cinematographic performance. It’s so amazing that you can pull out a photography exhibition from this film. 

A storyboard

64 years of Pather Panchali: What made it ahead of its time
A storyboard page from Pather Panchali drawn by Ray

Thank heavens that Satyajit Ray adapted Pather Panchali into a film. It’s hard to tell if anyone else could do it. We all know that a film cannot completely follow a book. Just because of that Satyajit Ray also brought minor changes to the original contents. 

Satyajit Ray literally painted the storyboard of Pather Panchali. His watercolour paintings cleared out everything from the expression of characters to lighting.  

Back then there was a stigma in filmmaking. It was believed that films should have happy endings. Satyajit Ray broke this stigma and brought in a realistic approach. 

Timeless music

64 years of Pather Panchali: What made it ahead of its time

Music can convey emotions that words cannot describe. Pather Panchali was outstanding even in this way too. Ravishankar did the music for this film. 

With the use of Bengali classical instruments, Ravishankar put the perfect music piece in the perfect position. There are scenes where talking or screaming becomes abundant. In those places, music became the messenger. 

Ray’s direction

64 years of Pather Panchali: What made it ahead of its time

Satyajit Ray was a powerful director. He portrayed his beliefs and point of view through the cast members. Although many of the cast members were completely new to acting, Ray’s direction covered every bit of inexperience. 

Runki Banerjee was just a small girl when she played Durga. Ray brought his direction to the simplest form to capture the perfect pose. In fact, Ray did this with every cast member. 

However, Ray faced difficulties in direction too. He had to adapt a lot while shooting. For example, the Kans Grass field where they wanted to shoot the train scene was supposed to be the first shot scene of the film. But on the day of the shooting, they found the place completely empty. It happened to be that cattle ate all the Kans Grass. Later they returned to that place after around 2 years. 

64 years of Pather Panchali: What made it ahead of its time

Other than the improvising, the implementation of film-philosophy is also admirable.

Satyajit Ray took the Italian Neo-realism approach while making this film.

His showcasing of poverty, desperation, etc. in everyday life bolsters this claim. 

We can also see the influence of Rasa theory in this film. This concept relies heavily on the emotional side. It centres on two aspects. The first one is the feelings experienced by the characters. And the second one is conveying those feelings to the audience in an artistic way. 

Satyajit Ray gathered up the perfect team for that.  With the story of Bibhutibhushan, with the acting of the cast members, with the cinematography of Subrata Mitra and with the music of Ravishankar he conveyed every bit of emotion to us. 

A legacy that lives on

64 years of Pather Panchali: What made it ahead of its time

Satyajit Ray had to stop shooting this film in midway due to fund shortage. He went to the government officials for the funding, but they didn’t like his realistic approach. 

Because he didn’t give up, we are still talking about his first film after 64 years of its release. Here’s an interesting fact – the Apu Trilogy created an ineradicable impact on teenage Martin Scorsese. 

If you haven’t watched this masterpiece already then go and watch it. It’s been 64 years and you are missing out on a gem of Bengali classic. Happy watching!

Like our content? Follow us on our Facebook page for regular updates. We want to hear from you. Take a moment to write to us with your stories, contributions and suggestion. Contact us for advertising and partnership opportunities at [email protected] Thank you!

Looking back at the pioneering bands of Bangladesh

Bangladeshi bands have come a long way since the inception of rock here in the mid to late ’60s. They have transcended generations, musical genres and have firmly made their way into mainstream media. Their incredible popularity among the people of the country can be seen in most music festivals and concerts that are organized here.

Although the younger demographic is the majority to follow such music, there are many acts from older generations that garner a huge fan following to this day.  So we’ll be turning back time, to revisit some of Bangladesh’s earliest and most influential pioneers of band music.

Read more: Great Bangladeshi bands that disappeared after their debut album

Zinga

Zinga was the first documented musical group of Bangladesh or East Pakistan back then. The band was originally formed in 1963 by a group of young students from Chittagong Government College.  Zinga’s music journey started as an Orchestra Band in Bangladesh which later became the first pop group. The group was the first to incorporate western musical instruments such as Drums, Guitar, Grand Piano, etc. to modernize traditional Bangla Tunes by Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Uchharon

The contribution and legacy of Azam Khan and his band Uchharon is quite unparallel in Bangladesh’s history. He and his band are called the Pioneer of Bangladeshi rock music. Their smash hits such as, ‘rail liner oi bostite’, ‘Alal o Dulal’, and ‘Saleka Maleka’ were huge to the point that they are still regularly getting radio play. Azam Khan passed away on June 2011 from oral cancer.

Souls

Souls was formed in Chittagong in 1972. They are considered as the most important band in Bangladeshi rock and roll. They were influenced by the music of The Beatles. In 1980, they released their debut album Super Souls, which was one of the first albums to be released by a music group in Bangladesh. There are still active to this day and is one of the most popular musical groups in the country.

Rock Strata

Rock Strata was one of the most influential bands to introduce and play heavy metal in Bangladesh. Alongside Warfaze, they have laid the foundation for many to today’s Bangladeshi heavy metal bands. Breaking up shortly after their first album, they reunited and also produce and released their second album on 2014. There are also the first to premier their live concert ‘One Last Live’ at Star Cineplex on September 2018.

The Era of LRB, Arc and Nagar Baul

The ’90s saw a huge boom in terms of great bands and great music being produced here in Bangladesh. And the three rock bands: Ayub Bachchu’s LRB, Jame’s Nagar Baul (formerly Feelings) and Hasan’s Arc, were at the centre of it.

These three uber-successful bands firmly established rock bands into the mainstream media with their immense popularity and were called Bangladesh’s ‘Big three of Rock’.

It’s quite difficult to imagine Bangladesh’s music scene without these three bands.

Read more: Trainwreck: The Bangladeshi metal band that rocked Wacken

Honourable Mention: 

Along with the bands mentioned above, the following bands have also played their part in developing Bangladesh’s music scene. They are The Windy Side of Care, Spondon, Feedback, Miles, Different Touch, Aurthohin, Dalchhut, Warfaze, Cryptic Fate, Black, Artcell, Arbovirus and Nemesis.        

The Matrix is back with Keanu Reeves again and we hope it’s breathtaking

We all knew 2019 is Keanu Reeves’ year, but just when we thought all the Keanu hype is fading away, we got the news of him returning as Neo in the new Matrix film!

On Tuesday, 20 August Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich announced that we will be re-entering the world of The Matrix as there is going to be a fourth chapter added. 

The original cast member, Carrie-Anne Moss will also be reprising her role as Trinity. Lana Wachowski, the creator of The Matrix trilogy, is back at writing and directing it again. Alongside Wachowski, the screenplay is co-written by the sci-fi novelists Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. 

The Matrix is a story of the hacker Neo and his discovery that the world we live in is nothing but a simulated reality. It has been 20 years since the original Matrix was released.

“Many of the ideas Lilly (co-creator of The Matrix) and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now,” Wachowski stated. “I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.” 

The franchise has fans worldwide and made more than $1.6bn. Rumours of a new film have been circulating since 2017. Even though the plot details are currently unknown, the film is officially headed into production in 2020. It will be distributed globally.  

Wachowski also said, “I like it when stories go out into the world and then come back to you in different ways.” 

Let’s see where and in what ‘different way’ the white rabbit takes us this time! 

Spider-Man is officially out of the MCU. Here’s what the future holds

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now Spider-Man’s future in the MCU is looking bleak. Thanks to a deal gone wrong between Sony Pictures and Marvel bossman Kevin Feige, our favourite web-slinger is now officially out of the MCU, according to reliable sources.

The deal with Sony and Marvel

According to news, Sony will most likely continue making Spider-Man movies but they will not be produced by Marvel any more. Which means Marvel will have no creative authority over the movie and MCU tie ins are a closed chapter.

What will happen in MCU?

It’s unclear how the MCU will go forward filling in voids in its universe where Spider-Man used to exist. They could simply ignore it, showing Spider-Man has officially retired from his duties and is now focused on a normal life as Peter Parker. However, they probably will not be able to use the name Spider-Man or Peter Parker, thanks to legal rights issues. (Remember X-Men?) But if Happy Hogan mentions a certain “Kid”, we’ll understand that reference.

Another reboot?

As for Spider-Man himself, he will most likely get yet another reboot. That means a new cast and a new storyline. A new suit of course. It’s yet be decided what actually happens to Spidey but let’s hope it’s not another reboot. Honestly, it’s getting tiring!

At the time of writing this article, it’s rumoured that Sony will probably renegotiate their deal again. Here’s to hoping Tom Holland gets to stay in that suit!

Misir Ali to be featured on Amazon Prime anthology series

Anthology series “Uncanny Episodes” by London based Bangladeshi author, Nafee Muhammad Anam, is set to feature a standalone episode in Amazon Prime. The episode will be based on Humayun Ahmed’s “Bhoy” of the Misir Ali series. Mr Nafee Anam is known as the editor of the first Bangla horror magazine, “Horror Potrika”. 

Nafee Anam identified the story as one of his personal dream projects. He said, “I took permission for this from Humayun Ahmed a very long time ago. I stopped working on it and left it behind after he passed away. I was recently working on other stories for my Uncanny Episodes project but suddenly remembered that I have permission to produce Misir Ali and now, no matter what happens I want to bring this to life.”

Misir Ali to be featured on Amazon Prime anthology series

About the anthology series in general, Mr Anam says he wants to depict popular Bangladeshi stories for a global audience. The episode in question will be shot in Bangla with English subtitles. 

Uncanny episodes will be released on YouTube (for Bangladeshi audience) and Amazon Prime Video for a global audience. (Yeah, we’re still trying to understand how that works out.)

The project is crowdfunded through JustGiving, an online fundraising social platform. 

Read more: Touquir Ahmed is creating a Bangladeshi Feluda and here’s your first look!

Watch a Bangladeshi filmmaker’s award-winning movie, “Life in Other Words”

“Witness an ordinary family having an extraordinary day,” is how we are invited to watch this short film which premiered in Bangladesh on the 11th, on Youtube. The film was previously available on Amazon Prime.

The short film includes the trials and tribulations in the lives of the Kabir family– from a son’s academic struggles to a hard-working woman’s tested patience in dealing with men harassing her during her commute. However, it is the themes of hope and joy, found in what brings families together and brightens an awful day, that will resonate among many.

Read more: French movie “Fahim” to portray the story of Bangladeshi chess prodigy

International recognition

‘Life in Other Words’ has received various nominations, including a nomination for Best Short Foreign Film, Comedy at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) – Best of NFMLA Awards. The film received an honourable mention for comedy at San Jose International Short Film Festival and was a nominee for Best Short Film Award at the Bahamas International Film Festival in December 2017. In 2017, the film won Best Short Film and Best original screenplay at the Gold Movie Awards. The film was a nominee at the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema, London in 2018 for best comedy, best short foreign language film and best original screenplay for foreign language film.

“Great comedy filmmakers are hard to come by and Athar will certainly be one to watch. His timing is excellent, as is his mise en scène, and the variety of filmmaking devices he shows he can utilise well is impressive. What I am trying to say, I guess, is that this is Great in Other Words”

Chris Olson, UK Film Review, said about the film and its director, Abrar Athar

Watch now