Bangladesh had never got any significant footage or screentime in Hollywood. The trailer of ‘Extraction‘ had created a buzz all for the right reasons since it was the first Hollywood movie whose plot was centred around Bangladesh. But the air of the balloon of expectations ran out after the movie was released. Bangladeshis, in general, were very much disappointed with the movie.
Stereotyping portrayal of a country is an old thing for Hollywood; Mexico and Africa being the prime examples. The portrayal of Bangladesh caused massive disappointment amongst most Bangladeshi viewers. The yellowish background sarcastically called jaundice theme by viewers was not accepted well for starters. The over negative portrayal of Bangladesh Police and administration seemed hackneyed. And it’s a shame considering the fact that it was Hollywood’s sacred duty to portray Dhaka as a beautiful, shiny city that we all love and adore.
Although the film plot is centred around Bangladesh, almost the whole film was shot in India. The Bangla spoken throughout the film hardly seemed like our own dialect, rather more like the Kolkata dialect. Rookie move. The minor mistakes in costumes of the police and loopholes in the plot, in a popcorn action flick movie, disappointed people to the extent of ranting about it in social media with hashtags and petitions launched.
The Netizens are upset. Hollywood takes a major blow. Netflix is about to apologise. Next time Hollywood centres a movie around Dhaka, they better get everything right down to the last details.
Distant from the wealth and glitter of Singapore, Invisible Storiesshines light upon the alienated characters of the lesser-known neighbourhoods in Singapore. Including the lives of migrant workers there. Sudip Biswas Deep from Bangladesh plays the character of a Bangladeshi migrant construction worker in this HBO original anthology.
This six-episode half-hour drama is entirely filmed in the locations of Singapore. Each episode follows each resident as he or she lives through everyday life and challenges. The stories include ups and downs of a mother and his son with autism, a man who is a taxi driver by day and a spiritual medium by night; a banker who is a husband and a father but this dark secret comes alive late at night and many more.
A film that hits home
This HBO Originals will take place in the Housing and Development Board public housing blocks. The places are very well close to the series creator Ler Jiyuan. Despite being one of the best and famous new directors in Singapore, the creator has a very humble lifestyle and childhood himself.
“Eighty per cent of Singaporeans live in HDB flats. I myself grew up in one in the ’90s in a three-room flat. My father was a taxi driver.”
Ler Jiyuan says
He further added that he spends most of his time here until now. It will be an interesting concept to open up to the international audience about a different Singapore. A “non-crazy-rich” side of Singapore.
The multicultural perspective of the ‘other’ side of Singapore
This series is starring actors from a multicultural identity background. This enhances the importance of Singapore by itself despite the diversity, Singapore portrays. The regional cast is from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.
Sudip Biswas Deep portrays the role of a migrant construction worker in Singapore. This will essentially hold a very strong portrayal of what it is like for Bangladesh minorities to earn their livelihood in different countries including Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai.
HBO Asia has also arranged a short film competition inviting all the other uprising filmmakers to submit their untold stories in their neighbourhoods. This will empower the rise of new storytellers of a generation who will showcase and portray different angles to their environment.
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
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” 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.
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.
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.
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!
Let us begin with an analogy. Steven Soderbergh’s latest film High Flying Bird was shot entirely on a smartphone. Referring to this award-winning director, it is like ‘writing script in pencil’. The director replied so to his fellow visionary director, Christopher Nolan, when Nolan challenged him to go back to shooting on film. This thrilling dunk had its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival earlier this year. It received accolades from both the critics and the audiences.
Technology and filmmaking
When it comes to film making, one would surely think of new technological advent in equipment. But in reality, there are a lot of things that will appear with that thinking which may confine the opportunity of becoming a film-maker, when you also have the chance to shoot your dream with just a smartphone. Soderbergh and other directors prove that it’s not about the camera, the best camera you got probably in your pocket to make your vision into reality.
celebrated director Shafayet Mansoor Rana took the idea further and decided to
try his hand at writing his script in the metaphorical pencil and it certainly
worked. He successfully delivered the first ever professional production
completely shot on a smartphone in Bangladesh. The film, Ferar Gaan, was
released last week as the iflix original on this popular streaming platform.
The film has been entirely shot using Samsung flagship smartphone Galaxy
the opening sequence of this short, we see two men looking for an address quite
frantically. When they finally get to their desired destination, the person
gets shell shocked and falls to the ground with awe and the title pops-up on
the screen. The director pushes us back to two months earlier. The film is
starred by rock icon Jon Kabir, popular actor Azmeri Asha and Sayeed Zaman
Shawon. This short is split into three chapters which portrayed the
vicissitudes of the life of Rubab Khan, the famous star played by Jon Kabir.
plot revolves around him, his music, his fame, his losses and how he reclaims
his lost kingdom with the strike of a moment of epiphany. Rubab Khan was very
popular and surrounded by millions of fans, but his ego and snobbishness made
him fall from the sky. On his prime, one day, a diehard fan of Rubab Khan,
played by Sayeed Zaman Shawon, made his way to the backstage despite strict
restrictions and asked for a selfie with his icon. In response, he got a tight
slap and very rude behavior from his icon and later was thrown out by the
guards. The very next morning, Rubab finds out that he has lost his gifted
voice. And eventually, he lost everything including his fascinating career, his
fans, and even his girlfriend, played by Azmeri Asha.
Filmmaking with smartphone
story of Ferar Gaan is penned by Tanvir Chowdhury, the person behind the
operation of the camera is Sumon Sarkar and the uplifting music is composed by
Fuad Al Muktadir. Ferar Gaan was shot entirely with Samsung Galaxy S10+ which
features three rear professional grade cameras consisting of a 12MP wide lens,
12MP telephoto lens, and 16MP Ultra-Wide lens which records 4000 pixels
horizontally video very easily. No additional lenses were being used to shoot
the film. And the director didn’t do much manipulation after shooting, thanks
to Samsung’s ground-breaking innovation.
would love the fact about making a movie with the handiest yet advantageous
device like Samsung S10+ that they can make a very quick decision and perform
creative execution albeit spending very less than shooting with the equipment
screams movie camera. As Soderbergh said, ‘If you want the lens on the wall,
you don’t have to cut a hole in the wall and put the camera behind it. It’s a
creative duo Shafayet Mansoor Rana and Sumon Sarkar carried out an experiment
with a spontaneous style which delivered the audiences a worth-watching
40-minutes story of redemption. That has the merit to revive the viewers with
With the movies that we are expecting to excite us head over heels, Fahim is that one movie that will leave us with tears, joy and a roller coaster of emotions. An unexpected french treat about a Bangladeshi champion.
Acted by Ahmed Assad, this French movie just might get us into the lives of the chess champion Fahim Mohammed and the obstacles he survived through it all.
The story of a champion in hiding
Fearing of abduction, Fahim Mohammad and his father are forced to flee from their hometown Bangladesh. Away from home, the father and son settle for Paris. Fahim and his father continue to live in Paris as illegal immigrants after their application seeking political asylum is rejected. Fearful of what the future may hold, both father and son continue to fight for the little champion’s dreams.
Fahim’s passion and love for chess lead him to meet with Sylvian, one of the best coaches in France. Their bittersweet relationship teaches him the purpose of putting his intellect into perspective. Fahim’s love for chess shows how he battles in the French Championship all the while tries to fit in a new country, tackling the pressure of expulsion and meeting new friends.
From “A Clandestine King” to a heartwarming movie
A Clandestine King is an autobiographical story written by Fahim Mohammad himself. This heartwarming story of a struggling eight-year-old Bangladeshi in the world of chess is now being adapted to screen by director Pierre François Martin-Laval and produced by Patrick Godeau.
For any book-lover Bengali, from this side of the border or the other, the name Satyajit Ray is one that’s very close to the heart. His short stories, novels, horrors, thrillers- they’ve all been a huge part of all our childhood. And the largest of them all is the hero we all looked up to growing up, Pradosh Chandra Mitra, or who we know him more as, Feluda.
Sharp wit, an even sharper tongue, piercing eyes, tall, mysterious- this enigmatic character has been attempted to be portrayed by generations after generations. The list of visionaries who had their own vision for Feluda includes Satyajit Ray himself, his son Sandeep Ray and also many other writers and directors. The latest and most intriguing addition to this list is our very own Tauquir Ahmed, who’s shooting a web series on Feluda from 21st April, in various locations of Dhaka and Chittagong.
Even after decades of Feluda’s arrival, there have never been any attempts at large to create and show his persona in our cultural sphere. All the dramas, plays that have been made, have been at a small scale, never adding much justice to this stellar character of Bengali literature.
The closest we came to presenting this iconic series was the Feluda series in bioscope- but even in that series, the titular characters of Feluda, Topshe and Laalmohan Babu were played by prominent actors from West Bengal, with Bangladesh providing with the background and Bangladeshi actors portraying only minor parts.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to rectify the situation a bit with a Bangladeshi actor playing the main part and the web series being produced solely in Bangladesh.
Stellar cast and crew
Considering the situation at hand, Tauquir Ahmed has enough awards and recognition under his belt to reassure the avid fans on the project’s success. His different outlook on Bangla cinema and TV has helped the industry gain a lot of the international acclamation it has today.
The entire cast has not been announced yet, only who’s going to portray Feluda and its Ahmed Rubel. We do see Abul Kalam Azad and Abul Hayat in some latest stills but details have not been divulged yet.
the performer and the character, so far it seems to be the most understandable
match. For those of you who can’t place Ahmed Rubel, he is mainly a theatre and
television actor, who also has proved his acting chops in films like “Bachelor:
the circle”, “Guerilla”, “Chandrokoktha”, “The last Thakur” etc which are far
from mainstream. Now the production house claims to have some sort of surprise
in store for the two sidekicks- Topshe and Laalmohon Babu, and we hope its more
Bangladeshi actor, with the originality of the character preserved.
In a country full of intense Bengali readers, it’s been a shame to not have our own version of Feluda, Topshe, Laalmohon and Maganlal Meghraj. About time we walk in the right direction.
Chris Hemsworth released photos and videos straight from the set of “Dhaka” on his Instagram account recently. The Australia-born star has apparently wrapped up filming his parts in the movie.
No, you probably will not run into Chris this week
To clarify, he was never in Dhaka, the city itself. The movie was filmed in Thailand and India. Those who ventured into Chris and the rest of the crew’s Instagram saw rickshaws and trucks with Bangla written on them. That was just part of a great set building.
An action thriller
In “Dhaka”, Hemsworth plays a mercenary called Tyler Rake. His character is hired by an Indian businessman to retrieve said businessman’s kidnapped son, who is held in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh in the action thriller. Hemsworth’s character is described as a physically competent man of vulnerable emotional state. And Hemsworth isn’t the only familiar face from the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise in the movie. Sam Hargrave makes his feature directorial debut with this film. For those unaware, Hargrave is MCU character Captain America’s stunt double. Stranger things star David Harbour is also one of the supporting casts in the movie.
The “Marvel” factor?
The Russo brothers, directors of several MCU movies including Captain America: Winter Soldier and Avengers: Infinity war, are producing “Dhaka” through their independent production house. Although Hemsworth’s parts in the movie have been wrapped up, the production is expected to continue at least until March. We don’t have a concrete release date as of right now. So we’ll just have to wait and see how a depiction of our capital city pans out in a Hollywood film.
If you think about it, Dhaka is a character in the film too, since it’s being portrayed by some other, flashier, perhaps better looking city.