January 19, 2012
An international film festival is always significant in terms of exchange of views among filmmakers and enthusiasts from different nations. As the 12th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) is on, and a significant number of foreign delegates are here in Dhaka, some local filmmakers and activists share their views on the festival.
âIt’s a major event. The total success of the festival relies on small successes of different sections. A significant number of delegates are here in Dhaka, and local participation is good. To me, this year the festival seems more organised compared to the previous arrangements,â said Sabbir Ahmed Chowdhury, president of Zahir Raihan Film Society.
âFilmmakers such as Dariush Mehrjui and Tahmineh Milani are here. Probably this is the only film fest in Bangladesh that has managed to draw international attention.
âAt any major event, there will be some mismanagement. This festival is no exception. But I do think and hope that the organisers would be able to overcome such minor issues in future,â he added.
Filmmaker Nurul Alam Atique gives priority to the local cine-culture rather than few big festivals. He said, âFestivals are important to filmmakers and enthusiasts but we need a better atmosphere in the film industry and at theatres. We should focus on regular screening of films rather than taking part in festivals,â said Atique.
Noted actress Joya Ahsan, whose three films (âGuerrillaâ, âDoobshatarâ and âPhire Esho Behulaâ) are taking part in the festival, feels that major festivals like this provide a great opportunity to exchange views with actors, directors from other countries. She said, âI hope people would get inspired and go to theatres on a regular basis. Cultural exchange is a major aspect of a festival such as this.â
Young documentary-maker and organiser Anwar Chowdhury sees the festival as an encouragement, but is concerned about the quality of the films in general. Chowdhury, general secretary of Bangladesh Documentary Council, said that the number of participating films and countries is inspiring but the organisers should keep an eye on the quality of the films as well.
âThis is [perhaps] the biggest film festival in our country in terms of local and international participation. I was at the inaugural ceremony and watched the opening film. That particular film is great but I’m not sure about how good all the films are,â said Chowdhury.