Since 1992, the Dhaka International Film Festival has been a platform that has connected Bangladeshi films with world cinema, and the 16th edition of the Dhaka International Film Festival—organised by Rainbow Film Society—is set to kick off today. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith will inaugurate the festival as the chief guest today at the main auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum, while Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu and India’s High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla will be present as special guests at the event.
After the inauguration, the Turkish drama film, ‘Zer’, by Kazim Öz, will be screened as the opening film of the festival. At the press conference held in the capital’s Dhaka Club yesterday, the director of the festival, Ahmed Mujtaba Jamal, said, “Dhaka International Film Festival is the most mentionable and respected film festival in the country. In my opinion, the festival has helped to spread a positive culture. The main objective of the festival is to gift the latest films of prominent directors from all over the world to cinema-lovers.”
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, one of the main patrons of the festival, was also present at the press conference. He said, “I’m really glad to be a part of this festival. We need more platforms like this to give Bangladesh recognition on the world map.”
During the festival, organisers will screen around 216 films from 64 countries. The festival features an Asian competition section. The six other categories for the participating films are: ‘Retrospective’, ‘Cinema of the World’, ‘Children’s section’, ‘Women Filmmakers’, ‘Short and Independent Films Section’ and ‘Spiritual Films section’.
To support and extend the reach of Bangladeshi films on the global stage, another category has been added to the festival this year, titled ‘Bangladesh Panorama’. Ten Bangladeshi films, including ‘Haldaa’, ‘Bhuban Majhi’, ‘Khancha’ and ‘Chitkini’, will be screened in this category.
A total of 95 foreign guests will also participate in the festival.
The films will be screened simultaneously at several venues in the capital, including the main auditorium and Sufia Kamal auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum, Shawkat Osman Auditorium of the Central Public Library, Alliance Française de Dhaka, Russian Cultural Center and Star Cineplex.
For the first time, as part of the festival, the organisers—in association with the International Film Critics Association of Bangladesh—has arranged the ‘First Asian Film Critics’ Assembly’.
Apart from holding regular film shows and film-related seminars and workshops, Rainbow, the organiser of the festival, also brings out ‘The Celluloid’, one of the leading cinema periodicals from Bangladesh with an international audience.
The festival has been regularly organised by Rainbow Film Society, which has dedicated itself to promoting a healthy cine culture in Bangladesh and celebrating the global mainstream in film and its social relevance since 1977. l