January 13, 2010
The 11th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) begins with the screening of Malaysian filmmaker Yasmin Ahmed’s “Tale N Time”. High hopes have emerged surrounding the festival among the Dhaka film enthusiasts, as it is the biggest event of its kind.
This year, the organisers expect to screen approximately 200 films from 66 countries. Organised by Rainbow Film Society, the inaugural takes place this afternoon at the National Museum premises. Premier of the country Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the festival.
The festival will be held from January 14 to 22. The theme of the festival is âBetter Film, Better Audience, Better Society.â The festival aims to promote a better cine culture in Bangladesh and to celebrate the social relevance of cinema. DIFF has attained international recognition with ten festivals, beginning from 1992. The 10th DIFF in 2008 featured around 100 films from 30 countries.
The festival will have a competition involving Asian cinema and includes categories – Retrospective, Tribute(s), Cinema of the World, Children’s Films, Focus, Bangladesh Panorama, Women Filmmakers, Independent Films Section and Spiritual Films Section.
Films from Asia and Australia with a minimum length of 70 minutes will feature in the competition section. A five-member international jury will adjudicate the best film. The Best Film award carries a cash prize of Tk 100,000. FIPRESCI, the International Film Critics Federation, will also present its own awards in this category.
Several films – from 1956 to 2009 – have been selected for Bangladesh Panorama. The Independent Films section will highlight experimental films in a variety of formats.
The Women Filmmakers section will screen full-length feature films as well as short and documentary films. The Spiritual section is being introduced to promote public discourse on the place of faith and spirituality in the current context. The section includes 20 to 25 films from all over the world.
A group of international film personalities will attend the festival. A series of seminars by renowned film personalities will be held on January 16 and 17. Topics include aesthetics, spiritual cinema, impact of film festivals on third world cinema, the challenges of independent filmmaking and DIFF – creating a conclave of cultures.
Everyday films will be screened in five sessions starting from 10:30am at National Museum and Central Public Library. Independent filmmaker and film organiser Ahmed Muztaba Zamal is the festival director.