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HBO’s “Invisible Stories” portrays the lives of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Singapore

Distant from the wealth and glitter of Singapore, Invisible Stories shines 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
Source: Google

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.

Source: Google

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.

Invisible Stories premieres on January 5th, 2020.

A burger flipper turned CEO worth $148 million: The incredible story of Ashik Ahmed

A very common scenario of any immigrant going to a first world country is simply this: doing a part-time job to earn their bread. The scenario was somewhat similar for Ashik Ahmed. Flipping burgers was the way 17 years old Ashik would meet his ends. However, a powerful vision, creativity, and indomitable perseverance have made Ashik one of the big shot CEOs in Australia. He is now worth a staggering amount of $148 Million!

How it all started

Ashik came to Australia from Bangladesh when he was 17 years old. He started flipping burgers at a fast-food chain in Melbourne to earn his living. He recalled about his hard early days in an interview with SBS Australia, saying:

“I was an hourly-paid worker myself so I saw all the challenges on this side, and I also got to see it from the employer’s side in managing the employees.”

This indomitable ambition and thinking outside the box have paid well for Ashik. His exposure to the multidimensional work environment of Australia, along with his ardent passion for Mathematics and Science, had helped him co-found Workforce management ‘Deputy’ back in 2008.

Quoted from his Forbes Bio,

“I was fortunate to meet my co-founder Steve Shelley (a small business owner) for whom I was able to make a significant difference by improving people management in his business. In 2008, we co-founded Deputy to make every other small business owner successful like Steve. Deputy is now used by over 40,000 workplaces in 73 countries.”

Read more: Snapchat’s former Bangladeshi CSO, Imran Khan, launches e-commerce venture to compete with the likes of Amazon

About Deputy

Deputy is a global workforce management platform for employee scheduling, timesheets, and communication.  The mission of Deputy is to improve the lives of shift workers and small business owners, by providing them with the necessary technological disruption. 

Deputy mainly provides cloud-based workforce management and scheduling platform. It is designed specially to help companies organize, track, and manage their teams. The company now has a client list of more than 184,000; which includes big names like NASA and Qantas.

The 38-Year-Old Ashik Ahmed is now worth over 148 Million Dollars.

The once burger-flipping 17-year-old is now listed at number 25 on the Australian Financial Review Young Rich List,  which was released this week. Ashik Ahmed has made good use of his 11 years in entrepreneurship, and is an inspiration for any aspiring entrepreneur!

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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

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

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

Fahim: The story of a brilliant Bangladeshi chess prodigy 1
Fahim Mohammad from the age of 11 has mastered the art of chess with the help of his father. Source: Google

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.

The movie is to be released on October, 2019.