“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!

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Walton joins Amazon to export products to the USA

Bangladeshi electronics manufacturer brand Walton is turning heads around as they teamed up with global e-commerce phenomena Amazon to export their products to the USA and sell them via the latter’s platform.

In an agreement that took place in Walton’s corporate office in Dhaka yesterday, on August 22, the two companies signed a deal which allows Amazon to globally sell various Walton products; which initially starts with distribution of Walton branded mobile phones, laptops, computers and home appliances directly to the American market.

The deal with Amazon is opening up Walton’s products to the American market that will pave the way for Walton to become one of the world’s top brands by 2030.

When our electronics market is mainly saturated by Chinese and other popular tech companies, this news assures us about the future of “Made in Bangladesh” electronics products!

This increasing demand for our products will surely open up opportunities for other companies in the near future and expand the local job market as well. The news, however, is also compelling for a huge community of Bangladeshi expats who live in America, as now, they get the chance to buy electronics products from their home living in the land of many tech-giants itself! 

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! 

All you need to know about the floating guava market of Bangladesh

Cover photo by Md. Moazzem Mostakim

To start off, the 200-year-old market is absolutely fascinating! You are surrounded by water and hundreds of boats filled with guavas. If you look above, you can see the blue sky with grey hues. The place is so serene that it feels calm, no matter how much noise you make. But, don’t make noises though.

For obvious reasons, the place has become quite a tourist spot lately. Here is all you need to know about the floating guava market.

When to go there

Every year, the market starts getting lively from the first week of July. The season stays till the first week of September.  The locals start picking guavas and the activities of the market happen between the hours of early morning and noon.

How you will go there

The floating guava market is mainly located in a village called Bhimruli. The village is a part of Swarupkathi Upazila in Pirojpur District. You can easily go there by road from Barisal City, passing through Jhalakathi and directly stopping at Atghar Kuriana (at Swarupkathi, Pirojpur). You will find many wooden boats and various types of trawlers waiting there to take you into the villages.

The journey is about 21 kilometres from Barisal City to Swarupkathi. It will take approximately one and a half hours to reach your destination if you go by road.

Read more: Day trips from Dhaka: 5 places you can visit for a quick fix

What you will see

Besides seeing boats and trawlers full of guavas, hog plums, bananas and other local fruits and vegetables around you, you will get to enjoy a view of the beautiful village landscape! There are shades of blue all around in the greenery.

There are about 30 villages in Swarupkathi containing more than 7,000 guava orchards! You can get a quick glance of them via taking the water transport. The one-hour boat trip gives you a taste of the local village lifestyle in this way as well.  

How much it will cost you

The cost of renting per small boat is around 300 BDT to 500 BDT.

Per medium to big boat costs around 500 BDT to 700 BDT.

The trawlers are clean and safe. They cost 1000 BDT to 1200 BDT.

The cost given here is including the fare of the skilled boatmen and helping hands of the boat/trawler you rent there. If you choose Atghar Kuriana as your starting spot, your one-way trip will be a little more than 2 kilometres, so safe to say your round trip will end up being more than 4 kilometres.

The price of guavas

Quick question. How much do you think per kilogram of fresh guavas can cost at least? In Dhaka, it costs around 60-80 BDT depending on the place you are getting them from.

So how low can the price actually get? 30 BDT per kilogram or maybe 20 BDT per kilogram?

Here, the guavas cost only 5 BDT per kilogram!

(We bought 20 kilograms of guavas with 100 BDT only! Distributed most of them in the neighbourhood and we still have a fridge loaded with guavas.)

A couple of heads up

It is safer to take a trawler than a boat if you cannot swim. Keep your belongings by your side and tightly grip your phone when you take the pictures. Remember, you are surrounded by water.

Most importantly, do NOT throw water bottles, packets of chips, or any kind of plastics into the water. The place is still quite neat, we do not want to ruin it, do we?

Lastly, there are some low bridges throughout the boat trip. Watch your head!

Pro tip: Take a pack of salt to make the garden-fresh guavas taste their best when you eat them during your trip! 

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Hoichoi, a BDT499/year Bengali alternative to Netflix

What if we tell you that there is a video streaming platform with a subscription of only BDT 499 per year? Yes, Hoichoi is here with a library of over 500 Bengali movies, exclusive original shows and shorts, and they are adding new content every month!

Hoichoi, a 499BDT/year Bengali alternative to Netflix?

They also have over 1,000+ Bengali songs from the most popular albums for the music buffs out there. Their collection doesn’t end here. Hoichoi is releasing films and documentaries soon.

Easy payment methods

All of this, for only BDT 499 a year! And to make the payment process easier and accessible to everyone, they have all sorts of transaction options. Including the major cards and even bKash.

About Hoichoi

Hoichoi is a Bengali on-demand video streaming service based in West Bengal. A concern of SVF films of Kolkata, Hoichoi boasts an impressive collection of West Bengal based films and TV series’ as well as a decent but growing number of Bangladeshi based content.

From Satyajit to Srijit, it offers all types of films. Starting from classics these days’ modern films and all the genres in between. Hoichoi offers videos in every quality options generally available: 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p.

Read more: TV shows you shouldn’t have watched but did anyway

The same with music! You get to listen to popular Bangla songs of the past two decades on Hoichoi. No more struggle of downloading songs separately, let them take care of that. And just when we thought it can’t get any better than this, the music streaming is completely free on Hoichoi mobile app!

Is it worth it?

Chances are, you, the reader, are a member of the young generation, who worships Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hoichoi might not sound very “worth it” to you even after all this.

But you can consider getting the subscription for your parents who are old-school, who probably might not understand the hype of Netflix, but will definitely love this site. For the love of Satyajit and Uttam Kumar at least. Let them also get on the hype train of online streaming!

Hoichoi is a place for all Bengali culture lovers. Doesn’t matter if you are divided by boundaries, every source of Bengali entertainment can be in your grasp through this site. You now can enjoy non-stop Bengali entertainment online, anytime and anywhere!

Teach your younger ones consent with this educational video by BRAC

We live in a country where people are not made aware of the concept of “consent”. Especially, there is no scope for the younger ones to know what consent even means. 

All thanks to the BRAC educational program, this educational video has everything about consent that we need to show our younger ones in the most children-friendly way possible.

Click here to watch the video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=379794182771421

This child-friendly video differentiates “good touch” from “bad touch”. It illustrates the concept of “private body parts” in a very simple way. It also talks for both the young boys and young girls and teaches them to be courageous.

The video tells them in the simplest ways, to speak up whenever they feel their body-boundaries are being violated by anyone close or distant. If anything nonconsensual happens to them, children are encouraged to share that with their parents and teachers without any fear of getting scolded at. 

You see, the “bad guy” here can be anyone! Can be of any genders. Can be a relative or a stranger. And this group of people with vile intentions sometimes persuade young children with toys and foods. The video teaches the children not to get lured by the attractions, and to inform their parents before going anywhere. 

We need to give everyone- no matter what the age- a voice. We need to give children a reassurance-  

Hey, child, you are not responsible for someone else’s disgusting action driven by his/her sickening motive. Do not feel guilty for something bad you experienced in which you did not have a say. Do not be afraid to speak up. You are not alone, we all are here, and we are listening to you.

Bangladesh moves to make technical education compulsory in every school

Photograph by: Saikat Mojumder

In the midst of all our hopelessness and complaints about our education system, there’s perhaps one silver lining at last. Our education system is finally about to include compulsory vocational education at the school level.

The Education Minister of Bangladesh, Dipu Moni, expressed the necessity of implementing technical and vocational education in the education system of the schools in Bangladesh. She stated that every school has to make technical and vocational training compulsory from 2021.

“Every school must have at least two trades from which each student will choose one. If any student fails to complete higher education, he or she must get employed under the chosen programme.”

She stated.

Read more: Bangladesh earns the highest rate of trust in vaccines, France the lowest

Dipu Moni also added that the government wishes to develop this particular sector of education. So in essence, the process of reforming the education system has already started. And we can hope that a bright future lies ahead of us!

Thank you for reading this article. If you like our content, support us and help us grow by sending your feedback, suggestions, stories and questions to [email protected]

Kacchi Biryani: The ambrosia of Old Dhaka

It was a Friday afternoon. The monumental city was waiting for us with all its glory and sparkling chaos. Right after entering into Old Dhaka (Puran Dhaka), we felt alive as if nothing there stops even for a second. It was all very happening!

Old Dhaka in all its charm

The unplanned, unorganized buildings smelling like warm shrubbery are archaic, the spindled creepers hanging from some of the houses make the pale concrete alive. None seems to mind the mild dust everywhere as if its presence is essential in adding more noise in this old city. Life is rush here, no time for complaints!

My friend Nitu and I came to Old Dhaka to get a taste of its famous Kacchi Biryani. We had been hearing a lot about it, and finally, we decided to pay Old Dhaka a visit.  

The tale of Kolkata Kacchi Ghor

We entered in the warm room of a renowned local restaurant, Kolkata Kacchi Ghor, with the expectation of having a good plate of Kacchi. The place smelled like butter and thyme. After waiting for four minutes, the aroma came from across the room; oh, they had started serving our biryani on the plates! We were hungry and impatient.  It took them two more minutes to bring the plates to us due to adding the beef Jali Kebab, sliced cucumber salad, a couple of pieces of lime and plum chutney to the side.

Visually, each plate looked like ambrosia.

A plate full of colours: white basmati rice with the pop of mustard yellow, one glazed piece of well-cooked mutton, a big piece of potato perfectly burnt on the sides and the salad and lime added a touch of green. We were salivating. We could not wait anymore and started digging in.

A culinary masterpiece

The non-sticky basmati rice was cooked to perfection. The slow rising steam was forming a piquant cloud. I gave the rice a taste first and right then I realized, it was the most delectable form of rice I had ever tasted. I started tearing the big chunk of well-cooked mutton. It was so tender that the flesh would tear apart just with a light pull of my fingers. My mouth was watering and without wasting a second, I ate it. The succulent meat was bursting out with flavorsome tenderness. Gingerly, while enjoying every mouthful, I started to add all the elements to it.

The potato was the highlight of the plate, the element that brought it all together. The charred sides tasted like salted savoury caramel. The texture in the middle was pulpy and roasted. The beef kebab was filled with goodness. It seemed like the match of the spicy minced beef and sweet chopped onion was made in heaven.

We cleaned up our plates completely. Luckily, there was no elachi on my plate to ruin it all! I was overwhelmed with the taste blast, but it was not over yet.

They came up with glasses of Borhani and small cups of Kheer. We started sipping the borhani slowly. It was like taking a breath of fresh air, we were revived. Conclusively, we wanted to end it with sweetness. I took the kheer with a little plastic spoon. Smelling like luxury, the saffron was very refined and mesmerizing. The sugariness of milk and boiled rice was not overwhelming at all but was light and airy. I was on cloud nine after finishing it. It was a FEAST.

A dash of old Dhaka hospitality

We went to the counter to pay the bills. The manager was sitting there. He had a handlebar mustache and a head full of thick dark hair. He looked at us curiously and with a big smile he said, “I can tell you guys loved the food, didn’t you?” We nodded joyfully. “We sure did and you will see us again soon!” replied Nitu. He laughed and said “Don’t forget to order the mutton leg roast next time!”

It is the hospitality that cannot be bought, and it can be found everywhere here in Old Dhaka. The friendly faces, the generosity and the cordiality; the ‘people’ is what differentiates Old Dhaka from another old busy city.

That day we came back home with little more than a satisfied tummy; a happy heart.