National Film Awards 2017-2018

National award for foreigner not acceptable: activists

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 21:15, Nov 08,2019 | Updated: 21:45, Nov 08,2019


Ataur Rahman, Ramendu Majumdar and Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu

Cultural activists on Friday expressed their concern over a foreigner being awarded the National Film Award, the highest recognition for contribution to the local film industry.

The information ministry issued a gazette notification regarding National Film Awards 2017-2018 on November 5 where Indian citizen Md Kalam was named the winner of the best editor award for 2017 for the film ‘Dhaka Attack’ that drew adverse criticism on the social media.

According to a circular by the information ministry only Bangladeshi citizens would be considered eligible for the National Film Award.

This correspondent talked to eminent cultural activists of the country, including honorary president of International Theatre Institute Ramendu Majumdar, thespian Ataur Rahman and thespian-filmmaker Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu, who said that a national award for film being awarded to a foreigner was not acceptable.

When contacted, Ramendu Majumdar said, ‘The authority concerned should follow all the directives properly when selecting winners for the award. It does not make sense how an Indian citizen was picked as the winner for National Film Award in Bangladesh. This should not have happened.’

Ataur Rahman said, ‘I am shocked. How could this happen. The authority concerned should not be so careless regarding this issue.’

Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu said, ‘It is producer’s duty to provide an accurate list of cast and crew members to the ministry. Besides, the ministry should properly check the information provided before selecting for this prestigious award.’

Yousuff also criticised the awardees selection for the year 2017-2018.

‘The films which were awarded in various categories were of poor quality,’ he said.

When contacted, Dhaka Attack director Dipankar Dipon said, ‘Though Md Kalam is an Indian, he is a good video editor. I don’t know how this happened because the producer sent details of cast and crew members to the ministry.’

Producer of the film Sanwar Sunny said, ‘When we sent names to the ministry, we proposed names of two Indian citizens Avi Mundo and Md Kalam but we forgot to mention the nationality of Kalam. It was our fault.’

Information ministry secretary Abdul Malek could not be reached over phone for his comment.

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