December 13, 2009
Bangladeshi director Golam Rabbani Biplob’s second feature film ‘Britter Bairey’ shared the best film award with a Kazakhstan movie at the 8th Third Eye Asian Film Festival in Mumbai.
This is the first time that a Bangladeshi feature film has won an award at a festival in Mumbai.
Biplob and Kazakh director Rustem Abdrashow, whose âThe Gift to Stalinâ was one of the films in the competitive section of the weeklong festival held from December 4 to 10, shared the prize money of Rs one lakh equally.
While âBritter Baireyâ is a film about the conflict between a rural art form and the greed of market forces, the story of the Kazakh film is about a little Jewish boy and is set against the backdrop of the 70th anniversary of the Joseph Stalin era in the erstwhile Soviet Union .
The winners of the award were chosen by a jury headed by Iranian filmmaker Kourosh Jahed and announced on Friday evening.
This is the second time Biplob picked up an award in India after his debut feature film âSwapnodanayâ won the Silver Peacock as the special jury prize in the International Film Festival in Goa two years ago. It had also won the best debut director’s award at the Shanghai festival.
âBritter Baireyâ was screened twice during the festival, the first being on December 4 when Biplob introduced the film to an audience of about 400.
Expressing happiness at winning the award in Mumbai, Biplob told The Daily Star that he was happier that Bangladeshi cinema got noticed among the discerning audience of the Indian entertainment and financial capital.
The director said the response and the quality of appreciation have dispelled his doubts about Mumbai being the right venue for screening of serious films like âBritter Baireyâ because the general perception is that Mumbaikars are used to watching formula commercial movies.
Referring to the turnout of 400 viewers for âBritter Baireyâ at the festival, Biplob said, âWhat I value more than the number is the quality of appreciation. None of the viewers left the cinema hall as long as the screening was on.â
According to the director, the kind of films he makes find it difficult to access the Western market because of their content. The current trend in the West is of making films on human rights and Islamic or Hindu fundamentalism and not stories which take a critical look at the downside of globalisation and commercialisation like âBritter Baireyâ has done, said Biplob.
The director said he has two-three stories in mind to make his next film but he is yet to make a start given the fact that finding a financer for the kind of work he undertakes is very tough.