The 16th edition of Dhaka International Film Festival will begin this afternoon at Bangladesh National Museum with screening of Turkish filmmaker Kazim Oz’s feature film Zer featuring a young Kurd’s root searching journey in Turkey being inspired by a song whispered on his ear by his dying grandmother at a New York hospital.
The film is taking part in the main competition segment of the festival called Asian Competition along with 14 other films from different Asian countries like Iran, India, Philippines and others.
The nine-day festival will feature 216 films from 64 countries in eight segments at six venues in the capital, said the organisers at a press conference held on Thursday at Dhaka Club.
The festival director Ahmed Zamal briefed the press about the festival in presence of festival committee chairperson Kishowar Kamal, chief patron of the festival and also state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam, head programmer of the festival and also a filmmaker from Iran Zohreh Zamani, chief advisor of the festival Robiul Hossain and patron M Hamid.
Rainbow Film Society has been organising the festival since 1992. From 2016, the festival has been organised annually and it has taken a place in the global calendar of the film festivals, organisers said.
Like the previous years, Zamal, said the main attraction of the festival will be Asian Competition segment. The best film, selected by the International Jury Board, will receive Tk 100,000, a crest and a certificate. The jury board will also select the Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematographer and Best Screenplay.
No Bangladeshi film will participate in the segment, said Zamal, adding that a separate competition segment exclusively for Bangladeshi films titled ‘Bangladesh Panorama’ will be introduced in the 16th edition of the festival.
‘Since no Bangladeshi film got award participating in the Asian Competition segment in the previsions editions of the festival, we have introduced a separate competition segment for contemporary Bangladeshi films,’ Zamal said.
A three member jury board of International Federation of Film Critics will select the best film from the 10 local participating films.
Other competition segments of the festival, include, Cinema of the World, Children’s Films, Spiritual Films, Women Filmmakers, Short and Independent. Retrospective segment of the festival will feature seven films of two women French filmmakers named Julie Bertuccelli and Celine Sciemma.
The six venues are: Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Central Public Library, Bangladesh National Museum main auditorium, Sufia Kamal auditorium of the museum, Alliance Française de Dhaka, Russian Cultural Centre, and Star Cineplex. Film lovers will be able to enjoy the films for free.
Among the ancillary events, a 16-day workshop on cinema will be organised jointly by International Film Critics Association of Bangladesh and Pathshala at South Asian Media Institute of Pathshala. It will be the 8th edition of the workshop named Dhaka Cine Workshop.
A two-day international conference titled ‘Women in Cinema,’ consisting of six seminars, will be held on January 13-14 at Alliance Françoise de Dhaka.
In addition, Muztaba Zamal said, a two-day Asian Film Critics Assembly will be organised for the first time in Bangladesh. It will be organised by International Film Critics Association of Bangladesh in association with International Federation of Film Critics.
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