The 8th annual Liberation Docfest Bangladesh-2020, the first of its kind in South Asia, began on Tuesday virtually connecting global film producers and audiences demonstrating that coronavirus pandemic could not stop them from getting connected through minds and hearts.
The five-day festival, previously known as the International Festival of Docufilms on Liberation and Human Rights, has generated much interest among film lovers at home and abroad.
The Liberation War Museum, a peoples’ museum dedicated to highlighting the history of Bangladesh’s struggle for independence and its presentation to the new generation, is hosting the festival.
Cosmos Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bangladeshi conglomerate Cosmos Group, has associated with this year’s festival as the technology partner while the media partner is United News of Bangladesh (UNB), South Asia’s first fully wired digital news agency.
Acclaimed Bangladeshi filmmaker and freedom fighter Syed Salahuddin Zaki inaugurated the festival.
A festival solely dedicated to documentary cinemas, seeking to highlight the struggle for Liberation and Human Rights of people in various parts of the world and its contemporary significance - the event has always been one of the most awaited and celebrated film festivals in Bangladesh.
The festival aims to uphold new forms of viewing the human suffering and struggle for justice in the global perspective.
This unique festival also focuses on breaking new ground and on the great diversity and vitality of storytelling and creativity of the documentary genre.
A total of 70 films will be screened during the festival that will continue until June 20.
About the initiative, Liberation War Museum's trustee Mofidul Hoque said the Liberation War Museum has constantly been motivating and patronizing filmmakers to make documentary films from its inception, so that the current and future generations can get the opportunity to taste and understand the essence of our glorious Liberation War in 1971.
"We started this spontaneous journey of documentary films from our previous museum space at Shegun Bagicha to the newly founded spacious museum space in Agargaon, and since then we have been celebrating this festival at a bigger and better arrangement," he said.
Expressing his heartfelt gratitude to organizing partner Cosmos Foundation and UNB, Mofiqul Hoque said this year marks the 8th edition of the Liberation DocFest Bangladesh, and was supposed to be held from April 2 to April 6, 2020.
However, due to outbreak of Covid-19 the countrywide lockdown was declared and the Liberation War Museum like many other institutions, was closed, so the Liberation DocFest Bangladesh festival had to be postponed.
"Thanks to Cosmos Foundation for coming forward with the required assistance to arrange this year’s festival online, so now the festival and all these wonderful documentary films from over 50 countries can be explored by everyone around the world - which gives us a much larger platform than our usual arrangements at the museum,” he said.
Cosmos Foundation Chairman Enayetullah Khan said they are delighted to get the opportunity to extend their cooperation for the festival. "We feel proud of that."
He said it is certainly a great matter of joy that Cosmos Foundation and United News of Bangladesh (UNB) got associated with this year’s DocFest.
"The prime focus of this year’s festival is birth centenary celebrations of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This festival is a part of the celebrations," Khan said.
Regarding the first-ever online documentary film festival in South Asia, he said approximately 1800 documentary films from 112 nations have been submitted for this year’s festival - and this is, indeed a great matter of pride for Bangladesh.
Khan said it will help build positive image for the country in the world.
"We are all affected due to COVID-19 pandemic. We are all confined to homes. But nobody could confine our hearts. We are marching ahead despite many barriers," he said.
"I believe the audience around the world would be able to happily connect themselves with all the wonderful films participating in this DocFest," Khan added.
The festival will feature sections namely ‘National Competitive Section: Documenting 1971’ and beyond, International Competitive Section, non-competitive section namely Cinema of the World and special packages.
The winners in the competitive sections will receive cash prizes, certificates and crests.
Cinema of the World section will feature films from across the globe.
Documentary films on the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and leaders from different third world countries will be screened under the section ‘Bangabandhu & other icons of national liberation in third world’ and the package named ‘Northeast is not far way: Documentaries of Northeast India’ will feature documentaries from Eastern India.
The Jury members for the International Competition Section for this year’s festival are Kim Young Woo (Programmer and Chair at the DMZ DOCS festival, South Korea); Nepalese filmmaker Subina Shestha and Samia Zaman, renowned Bangladeshi filmmaker, journalist and producer - while the jury for the National Competition are Bangladeshi filmmaker Aka Reza Galib, film critic Bidhan Riberu and academic, playwright, actor and theatre personality Samina Lutfa Nitra.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network said Monday that the 93rd Academy Awards will now be held April 25, 2021, eight weeks later than originally planned because of the pandemic’s effects on the movie industry.
For the fourth time in its history, the Oscars are being postponed.
The Academy’s Board of Governors also decided to extend the eligibility window beyond the calendar year to Feb. 28, 2021, for feature films, and delay the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures from December until April 30, 2021.
"Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in a joint statement.
Karey Burke, the president of ABC Entertainment, added: “We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year’s show is a safe and celebratory event."
The 12th annual Governors Awards has also been canceled. The event, in which honorary Oscars are bestowed to previously announced recipients, is generally held in Los Angeles during the second week of November. The untelevised event is a major gathering for many of the year’s awards hopefuls.
The film academy has been grappling with how to handle the pandemic’s near shutdown of the theatrical exhibition and film production and festival business since mid-March. With theaters shuttered, release dates pushed and major festivals like Cannes canceled, the academy in April made the unprecedented decision to allow films that did not have a theatrical run to be eligible for the awards — but only for one year.
The Oscars ceremony date was the big lingering unknown, however. The organization’s leadership has acknowledged all along that the situation was fluid and that everything was on the table. Now, Oscars nominations will be announced on March 15 and the nominees luncheon will be on April 15.
Still, many decisions need to be made. Academy leadership has not yet addressed the format of the show and whether it will be virtual or in-person. Further, the future eligibility of films for the 94th Oscars and that show date will be announced later.
The Oscars have been postponed before, but never this far in advance. The ceremony was pushed back a week because of disastrous flooding in Los Angeles in 1938. In 1968, it was delayed two days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And in 1981, it was put off for 24 hours after President Ronald Reagan was shot in Washington D.C. The 1981 decision was made four hours before the broadcast was scheduled to begin.
The eligibility window was extended beyond 12 months once before — in advance of the 6th Academy Awards in 1934.
Sushant Singh Rajput, one of Bollywood's most versatile and celebrated young actors, has apparently taken his own life at his Bandra residence.
The 34-year-old was found hanging in his house in Mumbai on Sunday, according to Mumbai police. The details behind his apparent suicide are yet to be investigated, according to Indian media.
His former manager Disha Salian was found dead five days ago. Salian had aparently killed herself.
Rajput had garnered critical acclaim and commercial success with lead roles in movies such as "Kai Po Che", "PK", "M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story", "Kedarnath" and more.
His movie "Dil Bechara" was scheduled to be released on May 8, however, it got postponed due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
A successful star in television, Rajput started his career with Star Plus's romantic drama Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil (2008), followed by an award-winning performance in Zee TV's popular soap opera Pavitra Rishta (2009–11).
Studio X for Men, International Styling products, and Zohad, lead vocalist of the popular rock band Nemesis, have launched an online collaboration of music and style titled ‘Studio X for Men Rock with Zohad’.
The first-ever online style and rock collaborations aims to give a platform of style to men, bringing the delight and entertainment of music, said a press release on Saturday.
Zohad said, “I’m very excited to be a part of this collaboration with Studio X for Men International Styling products.”
“My fans have a great sense of style and I’ve closely observed their style aspirations. This platform is a great opportunity for me to get in touch with my fans and experience the musical talent they have within themselves,” he added.
Participants have been asked to download the acoustic version of the song 'Kobe' by Nemesis, from https://www.studioxstyle.com/rock-with-zohad of Studio X for Men, International Styling products, and record a video of jamming to the song.
Participants then submit the recorded jam session through online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, or any other file-sharing website and also share it on the Studio X for Men International Styling products Website.
Studio X, the international styling products was launched to cater to them in line with Marico’s growing online penetration and the upswing in online buying in the country.
Having recognised this emerging trend, Studio X, a brand synonymous with celebrity-like styling, has been assisting consumers in achieving an expert finish look.
AR Rahman, India’s renowned Oscar and Grammy-winning music composer joined as the latest team member for renowned Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s upcoming international project ‘No Land’s Man’.
Joining renowned and globally acclaimed Indian actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rahman will also co-produce the film alongside being the film’s music composer.
Popular Bangladeshi actor Nusrat Imrose Tisha, who is also one of the Bangladeshi co-producers of this film alongside Farooki from their production house ‘Chabial’, confirmed the news in her official Facebook and Instagram page.
Nicknamed as the ‘Mozart of Madras’, AR Rahman is considered one of the most successful and respected Indian music producer-composer-singer and awarded a total of six Indian National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, fifteen Filmfare Awards and seventeen Filmfare Awards South.
In November, popular Bangladeshi singer and actor Tahsan Rahman Khan joined Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the debuting Australian actor Megan Mitchell for the lead roles in the film.
AR Rahman joined the ensemble list of producers in Farooki’s big international project, alongside with Nawazuddin and his brother Shamas Nawab Siddiqui from ‘Magic If Films’, award-winning US producer Shrihari Sathe, director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki and actor Nusrat Imrose Tisha from their production house ‘Chabial’, renowned Bangladeshi corporation Square Group’s Director Anjan Chowdhury and Bangladeshi streaming service BongoBD.
A long-awaited and critically acclaimed project for its vision, “No Land’s Man” won the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Asia Pacific Screen Awards’ Script Development fund in 2014 and also became part of the Asian Project Market at Busan, South Korea. The film was also chosen as the best project at India’s Film Bazaar, the same year.
'No Land's Man' is the second film of Farooki's identity trilogy, with his previous film 'Shonibar Bikel' (Saturday Afternoon) being the first one. Post-production of the film is being temporarily paused due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.