The 17th edition of Dhaka International Film Festival kicked off amid fanfare and enthusiasm on Thursday at the Main Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum with screening of Turkish director Andac Haznedaroglu’s refugee drama The Guest.
Former finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith inaugurated the festival, in presence of information secretary Abdul Malek, festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal, organising committee member M Hamid and others.
State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam, also the chief patron of the festival, presided over the inauguration programme.
‘Dhaka International Film Festival has been promoting both good and local films, along with filmmakers. The festival brings best films produced around the world before us and through these films we can know about various people and cultures,’ said Abul Maal Abdul Muhith.
‘Films have the power to fight terrorism and fundamentalism and have the potential to make a change,’ said Abdul Malek.
The festival is screening a total of 218 films from 72 countries in eight sections- Asian Competition, Retrospective, Cinema of the World, Children’s Films, Spiritual Films, Women’s Films, Short and Independent, and Bangladesh Panaroma.
The films are being screened simultaneously at six venues including the Main Auditorium and Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum, Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium of Central Public Library, National Art Gallery Auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Alliance Francaise Dhaka and Blockbuster Cinemas of Jamuna Future Park.
The Asian Competition section features 22 films from Asian countries, while The Cinema of the World section features 52 films.
Children’s Films section features 17 films, Spiritual Films section features 24 films.
Twenty-eight films will be screened in the Women Filmmakers section, while 58 will be screened in the Short and Independent Films section.
Bangladesh Panaroma, a section given completely to local films, will screen ten recent local films including Namta, Razzak, To Be continued, Alta Banu, Sonatan Goplpo, Rong Dhanu, Bhabnagar, Devi, Jonmobhumi and Paathsala. One film from among the ten will be awarded by FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) jury.
The Retrospective section features eight films by Serbian film director Goran Paskaljević, one of the most acclaimed filmmakers who have highlighted issues like nationalism and freedom in their films.
Besides the screening, the festival is featuring some interesting ancillary events such as workshop, seminar and conference.
A two-day conference named ‘Fifth Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema 2019’, to be organised jointly by Rainbow Film Society and department of women and gender studies of Dhaka University, will begin today at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka.
The festival will also hold a two-day conference of International Film Critics Federation- FIPRESCI Asian region on January 13 and 14.
Rainbow Film Society has been organising the festival since 1992 with the theme ‘better film, better audience, better
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