The fifth Dhaka international conference on women in cinema is now underway at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka in the capital.
The two-day conference, featuring six papers on women’s contributions to and challenges in cinema by local and foreign female filmmakers and experts, commenced on Friday morning through a short cultural show.
The conference has been organised by Rainbow Film Society, in association with women and gender studies department of Dhaka University, as part of the ongoing 17th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF).
Dr Imtiaz Ahmed, professor of international relations at Dhaka University, inaugurated the conference in presence of Sydney Levine, director of the conference; Dr Sanzida Akhter, chairman of women and gender studies department at DU; Olivier Dintinger, director of Alliance Française de Dhaka; and Ahmed Muztaba Zamal, director of DIFF.
‘Conference on women in cinema has become one of the major events of DIFF. This year, we have invited a number of acclaimed women filmmakers and critics from different countries to discuss pertinent issues related to women in cinema in the conference,’ said Ahmed Muztaba Zamal.
The first paper at the conference was presented by Turkish film critic and film historian Alin Tasciyan. The paper focused on the new generation of contemporary women directors’ place in the world cinema and their protests against structural male violence.
In her paper, Tasciyan highlighted how women are making their place fighting all odds and patriarchal structures which try to restrain women in some defined territories.
The second paper was presented by local expert Dr Gitiara Nasreen, professor of mass communication and journalism department at Dhaka University. Nasreen’s paper was titled ‘From Screen to Screen: Women’s Experience of Watching Cinema in Urban Bangladesh’.
The last paper of the day was presented by Indian filmmaker and social activist Dr Debjani Halder, who focused on portrayals of violence and prostitution in contemporary mainstream cinema.
Three more papers will be presented today. The papers are ‘Cinematic gaze and gender masquerading: Some film examples,’ by Montenegrin film theorist and critic Maja Bogojevic; ‘Role of Indian film schools in creating women filmmakers,’ by Indian filmmaker and actress Aparajita Ghosh; and ‘What are American women doing to alleviate gender discrimination in cinema?’ by American writer Sydney Levine.
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