Screening of quality films and resourceful workshops for the future filmmakers at the 14th International Children Film Festival Bangladesh (ICFFB) are inspiring and entertaining young audiences and their family members.
A series of interactive sessions are also being held at the festival where celebrated personalities are engaging in conversations with the workshop attendees and audiences.
Film critic and Dhaka Tribune Showtime editor Sadia Khalid conducted a session on scriptwriting on Sunday and Ranjan Rabbani conducted a session on production design on Monday. Young filmmakers from all over the country who came to the festival met in a special 'Face to Face' session on Monday and shared their viewpoints on filmmaking.
Mesmerizing the audiences through narrating her journey to the top, first Bangladeshi woman to conqueror Mount Everest Nishat Majumdar joined the interactive session on Sunday.
The ICFFB started in Dhaka on Saturday.
Noted director Amitabh Reza Chowdhury will conduct a workshop on direction while popular singer-songwriter-music director Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, alongside his wife and Rabindra-Sangeet singer Sunidhi Nayak will join as special guests of the interactive sessions on Tuesday.
Acclaimed filmmaker Morshedul Islam directed 'Amar Bondhu Rashed', based on Muhammad Zafar Iqbal's same-titled novel narrating the 1971 Liberation War and genocide in Bangladesh, is scheduled to be screened at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium of the Sufia Kamal National Public Library on Tuesday at 6pm.
According to the organisers, the 14th ICFFB is featuring 179 films representing 37 countries, nominated from a total submission of 1,116 films from 81 countries.
The films will be screened and several awards will be given under the categories – Child Filmmakers' Section (Bangladesh and International), Young Bangladeshi Filmmakers' Section, Social Film Section on 'New Normal', International Competition of Films Made For Children and a special Film Competition Section, marking the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
This year's festival will run until February 5.
Written by: MIH, Edited by: ZK
Under the banner of a "Future in frames", the 14th edition of the International Children’s Film Festival Bangladesh (ICFFB) kicked off in the capital on Saturday by Children’s Film Society (CFS) Bangladesh.
Marking the occasion, a special inauguration ceremony was arranged by CFS at the Sufia Kamal National Public Library on Saturday afternoon which was joined by Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud as chief guest.
The inaugural ceremony of the seven-day international festival was also joined by KM Khalid, State Minister for Cultural Affairs, as special guest.
Festival Director of the 14th International Children’s Film Festival Fariha Jannat Mim and CFS programme editor Rayeed Morshed were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
Praising the initiative of organizing the global festival dedicatedly commissioned for children, amid the ongoing pandemic - Dr Hasan Mahmud said that the festival will be remembered as the breeding ground for new and talented filmmakers of the future.
"Alongside education, co-curricular activities are the integral elements that can prepare our children for a better future - and unique festivals like this can tremendously accelerate that combined growth of our children, as film is the best way to showcase the social messages. I am sure that many acclaimed and talented filmmakers will come out through this initiative and uphold the image of our country to the rest of the world," Dr Hasan said at the event.
Reminiscing a particular incident from his childhood, Dr Hasan shared: "One of my closest friends back in my school days cheered me up to participate in a debate programme, which I eventually won and I never lost my spirit and confidence since that incident. This entire festival is being organized by children and youths of our nation, and taking up responsibilities with such confidence is highly commendable."
Echoing similar sentiment, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said, "The fact that an international festival like this is being arranged enitirely by these young, talented children and youths of our nation, is utterly surprising to me. I am wondering with joy and honour to be associated with this magnificent initiative."
He also addressed his experience of being recently vaccinated under the COVID-19 vaccination programme of the government, and said that the citizens including the children and their guardians can take up the vaccine without any fear or hesitation and ignore the propagandas.
Festival Director Fariha Jannat Mim said that the festival is being directed following the health guidelines under the directive of the Ministry of Health. She also addressed that there will be no ticketing price for the film shows, however, the audiences must come with being masked up, which will be considered as the ticket.
The festival then officially began with the screening of the Polish feature film 'Tipple Trouble', directed by Marta Karwowska.
According to the organizers, the 14th ICFFB is set to feature 179 films representing 37 countries, nominated from a total submission of 1,116 films from 81 countries. Films participated from countries namely Bangladesh, India, France, Japan, Italy, Iran, Australia, China and others.
The 14th International Children’s Film Festival will host film screenings at 3 venues in the capital - Shawkat Osman Hall at the Central Public Library, Sufia Kamal Auditorium at the Bangladesh National Museum and National Art Gallery at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The films will be screened and several awards will be given under the categories namely Child Filmmakers' Section (Bangladesh and International), Young Bangladeshi Filmmakers' Section, Social Film Section on 'New Normal', International Competition of Films Made For Children and a special Film Competition Section, marking the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence,
Besides, the festival will feature four workshops and interactive sessions. Noted director Amitabh Reza Chowdhury and cinematographer Tahsin Rahman will conduct a workshop on Direction and Cinematography, film critic and Dhaka Tribune Showtime editor Sadia Khalid will conduct a session on Scriptwriting, acclaimed filmmaker Abu Shahed Imon will conduct a workshop on Festival Circuit and Ranjan Rabbani will conduct a session on Production Design.
Popular singer-songwriter-music director Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, Sunidhi Nayak, Colonel Sajjad Ali Zahir, first Bangladeshi woman conqueror of Mount Everest Nishat Majumdar and more will participate in several interactive sessions at the seven-day festival as special guests.
The 14th International Children’s Film Festival will end on February 5 with the closing and award giving ceremony at the National Theatre Hall at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. .
(Written by MIH, Edited by SSK)
Ustab Sanjib Dey, country's legendary music maestro and trainer of classical music, passed away on Thursday night following a cardiac arrest. He was 68 years old.
His son and renowned Sitar artist Nishit Dey confirmed this news, saying, "My father, Sanjib Dey has taken his last breath at 10.40 pm today. May his soul rest in peace. Please pray, for his departed soul."
The noted music-guru suffered a heart attack at his Nayatola house on Thursday night and passed away before he was taken to the Anower Khan Modern Medical College Hospital in the capital, according to music director Farid Ahmed.
Eldest son of classical maestro Pandit Mithun Dey and the tutor behind many successful and noted music artists in the country including Shakila Zafar, Bappa Majumdar, Alam Ara Minu, Ibrar Tipu, Aankhi Alamgir, Sheikh Ishtiaque, Badshah Bulbul, S D Rubel and more - ustad Sanjib Dey is known as one of the renowned music maestros in the country.
In his illustrious career as a classical music guru, Sanjib was also a respected teacher of classical music at Chhayanaut from 1974 to 1991.
His last rituals will take place at his ancestral home in Mymensingh today at around 11 am.
He left behind one son, one daughter and his wife.
Although Yang Yang likes traveling, the Beijinger has decided to stay at home for the upcoming Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 12.
The bank employee has preordered takeaway from one of China's best-known roast duck chain restaurants Quanjude for his family banquet on Spring Festival's eve.
"It's the family atmosphere that matters for the celebration," said Yang, 34.
Compared with last Lunar New Year, when their family trip to the resort province of Hainan was shortened by the epidemic, Yang feels more at ease. "After a year's efforts in containing the spread of the virus, we have become used to life with prevention and control measures," he said.
Chinese people are embracing their most important festival this year with a variety of planned celebrations, despite the recent local resurgence of coronavirus in some areas.
The Chinese mainland on Monday reported 82 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 69 locally transmitted and 13 arriving from outside the mainland, the National Health Commission said Tuesday.
GROWING FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE
In Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, festival decorations have filled the grocery shelves at the Gemdale Plaza, Hongshan District. Promotional activities have started for gifts including candies, nuts, dairy products and fruits, drawing customers.
Some vendors said they have been busy since early January as an increasing number of customers came to shop in preparation for the festival.
Wearing a mask, Ma Yu, from the city of Huanggang, packed her shopping cart with oil, rice and flour. She also bought red couplets, a tradition for the festival, to decorate her apartment.
"My husband and I have planned to stay put given the epidemic, but the festival atmosphere should not be missing," said Ma, a clerk in a Wuhan company.
While some people like Ma have chosen to stay where they are, others are heading home taking various precautionary measures.
Guo Haotian, who works in an IT company in Beijing, has bought a train ticket home to the city of Jincheng, Shanxi Province.
"It's a pity that I didn't return home for the festival last year because of the epidemic," said Guo, 27, adding that he decided to return this year partly because a new high-speed railway has halved his travel time from Beijing to his hometown to five hours.
He has acquired a negative result from a nucleic acid test he has taken within seven days of his trip and will undertake a 14-day home observation.
"Although I cannot visit my friends or extended relatives, it's a precious opportunity to stay with my parents," he said.
To cope with the heightened transmission risk that comes with mass migration, the National Health Commission is requiring people to have a negative result for COVID-19 taken within seven days of returning to rural areas, as well as 14-day home quarantine upon arrival.
The Ministry of Transport estimated that China is expected to see around 1.7 billion passenger trips, up more than 10 percent from 2020, during the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush starting from Jan. 28.
To enrich people's holiday, cultural organizations and online platforms have planned a series of activities online, offering residents "cloud festival celebration."
Anhui Museum in east China's Anhui Province, for example, will stage five livestreamed shows so that audiences can enjoy the exhibitions online. The museum has invited calligraphy, painting, paper-cutting and lantern-making masters to create their works and share them online.
Online streaming platform iQiyi will have a particular "Spring Festival" section, offering movies, TV plays and other forms of entertainment during the festival, said Wang Zhaonan, vice president of iQiyi.
In Beijing's Daxing District, which reported local COVID-19 cases in the past few days, residents have been asked not to leave the city.
"We have organized an online celebration event, soliciting and displaying photos," said Zhao Jing, Party branch chief of a residential community in Yizhuang Township of Daxing.
The event, called "displaying your cleared plate at the New Year's Eve banquet," is aimed at avoiding food waste, said Zhao.
China's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.3 percent year on year in 2020, exceeding the 100-trillion-yuan (15.42 trillion U.S. dollars) threshold to 101.5986 trillion yuan, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
In the fourth quarter, the country's GDP expanded 6.5 percent year on year, faster than the 4.9-percent growth in Q3, the data showed.
The Chinese economy is expected to show a better performance this year, seen from the growth targets unveiled at the ongoing annual sessions of provincial-level legislatures and political advisory bodies.
Many areas, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, have set their 2021 GDP growth targets to 6 percent or above with provinces of Hainan and Hubei targeting a 10-percent growth.
At the ongoing session of the 15th Beijing Municipal People's Congress, Li Xin, a municipal lawmaker, showed great confidence in the country's epidemic control as well as its economy.
"We take a sanguine view of the economy and believe that it would present itself with a flying start in the first quarter," Li said.
The 19th edition of the prestigious Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) concluded on Sunday with the awards ceremony where a movie from Kyrgyzstan about an old writer who believes in the redeeming power of literature, The Road to Eden, walked away with the top prize.
Highly anticipated Bangladeshi films Unoponchash Batash and Gondi won awards in their specific categories.
An eclectic mix of international entries were recognized at the awards, with films from Central Asia including a string of ex-Soviet republics especially prominent. Apart from the Kyrgyz top prize, entries from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Mongolia were recognized in different categories.
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud handed over the awards to the recipients on Sunday at the concluding ceremony of the 19th DIFF at the Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum.
Representing Kyrgyzstan, the film titled Akyrky Koch (The Road to Eden) won the award for Best Film in the “Asian Competition” category. Directed by Kyrgyz directors Bakyt Mukul and Dastan Zhapar Uulu, the film had its world premiere in the 24th edition of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), Estonia in 2020.
Five more awards were presented in this category, as the Best Scriptwriting Award went to Nasim Ahmadpour & Sharam Mokri for the Iranian film Jenayat-e bi deghat (Careless Crime), directed by Shahram Mokri; the award for the Best Cinematography went to Galbadrakh Batmunkh for the film The Woman, directed by Otgonzorig Batchuluun (Mongolia); Best Actor Nejat Isler for the film 9,75, directed by Uluc Bayraktar (Turkey); Best Actress Meruert Subbusinova for the film Mariam, directed by Sharipa Urazbayeva (Kazakhstan) and the award for the Best Director went to Ksenia Lagutina for the film Farida, a joint production from Azerbaijan and Russia.
Best Audience Award in the “Bangladesh Panorama'' section was awarded to the Sabyasachi Chakraborty - Suborna Mustafa starrer film Gondi, directed by Fakhrul Arefeen Khan. The prestigious Best Film Award by FIPRESCI Jury in the same section was awarded to Unoponchash Batash (Incomplete Breath), directed by Masud Hasan Ujjal.
The “Women Filmmakers Section” in the 19th edition of DIFF named a total of four awards this year. The award for the Best Director in the Women Filmmakers Section went to Margarida Paiva for the film A Røbba Gnor (The Little Black Dress), jointly produced by Norway and Italy; Best Short Film Award went to the film Tirishko, directed by Shakiba Khaleghi (Iran), the award for the Best Documentary went to the film Forbidden Children, directed by Evdokia Moskvina as a joint production from Russia and Syria and the Special Mention Award was given to the short film Incidents- Way Home, directed by Jessica Laurén (Sweden).
Several other awards were presented to the winners at the ceremony. The Badal Rahman Award for Best Children's Film was achieved by Taganok Team (Directed by Ainur Askarov, Russia); Best Feature Film in the “Spiritual Film Section” was awarded to the film Senior Citizen (Cyprus), directed by Marinos Kartikkis and Best Documentary in this section went to Sunless Shadows, a joint production from Iran and Norway, directed by Mehrdad Oskouei.
The festival Director and President of Rainbow Film Society Ahmed Mostofa Jamal announced that the 20th Dhaka International Film Festival will be held on January 15-23, 2022.