Echoing the slogan of the organisers, Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud brought the 18th Dhaka International Film Festival to a close on Sunday by saying that better films and better audiences, who support and appreciate all the efforts that go into what appears on screen, can indeed contribute to the betterment of society.
The slogan of this year’s DIFF, chosen by organisers Rainbow Film Society, was ‘Better Films, Better Audience, Better Society’.
“The need for good films is at its highest at present, as humans are becoming more like machines with advancement of civilization as we call it,” Hasan Mahmud said, speaking as Chief Guest at the closing ceremony of the 18th DIFF at the National Museum in the capital.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid attended the ceremony as Special Guest. The program was presided over by festival executive committee member M Hamid.
Dr. Hasan paid homage to the memory of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and said, '”Bangabandhu established government patronization for films in the country. Back in 1957, he raised the Film Development Corporation Bill in the provincial parliament as Minister of Industries and Commerce and it was passed. That’s how Film industry in Bangladesh commenced its journey.'”
State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid said, “We must encourage young generation for film-making and only then the industry would thrive. Our Ministry is going to establish a Cineplex in every upazila to bring back the golden days of film once again, and will cooperate in future endeavors like this wonderful international festival.”
The 18th DIFF screened a total of 220 films, with participation from 74 countries in competitive categories spanning “Asian Cinema” “Retrospective ,” “Bangladesh Panorama ,” “Cinema of the World,” “Children’s Films,” “Spiritual Films,” “Women Filmmakers ” and “Short and Independent Films” categories.
Iranian film Castle of Dreams (Ghasr- e-Shirin), directed by Reza Mirkarimi won the awards for Best Film and Best Director in the Asian Cinema category.
Several other awards were presented to the winners at the ceremony. The Badal Rahman Award for Best Children's Film was achieved by Loknat (Director Mohammadreza Haji Gholami, Iran); Audience Choice Award in the category Cinema of the World was won by prominent Indian-Bengali filmmaker Anjan Dutt for his debut participation in DIFF, Finally Bhalobasha. The prestigious Best Film Award by FIPRESCI Jury in Bangladesh Panorama Section was awarded to No Dorai, directed by Taneem Rahman Angshu.
Women filmmakers around the world received awards in three main categories with a special mention for each- Best Short Film Award in Short Fiction Category was achieved by Russian filmmaker Daria Binevskaya for My Name is Petya and Special Mention Award in this category went to Mexican filmmaker Sandra Concepción Reynoso Estrada for her short film Video Tape. Special Mention in Documentary Category was awarded to Mirjam Leuze (Canada, Germany) for her documentary The Whale and The Raven; while Asian filmmaker Dina Naser received award for Tiny Souls, selected as the Best Documentary.
Special Mention in Best Feature Film Category went to Iranian filmmaker Maryam Bahrololumi for her film Patio, while Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Imielska received award for Wszystko Dla Mojej Matki (All For My Mother) as the Best Feature Film.
Iranian movie The Feast of the Goat, directed by Saeed Zamanian won Special Mention in Short Fiction Category under the Spiritual Film Section, while the Best Short Film Award in this category went to Lovro Mrden for The Stamp. Iranian filmmaker Yaser Talebi’s documentary Beloved won as the Best Documentary in the Spiritual Section, while Chinese filmmaker Yesir’s film Fanshujiaomi (Koali & Rice) won the award as the Best Feature Film in the Spiritual section.
The films were screened from 11 to 19 January at several prominent venues in the city. Organizers Rainbow Film Society also hosted a two-day ‘Sixth International Women Filmmakers Conference’ on January 12-13 and a day-long programme ‘West Meets East’ on January 14 at the Samson H. Chowdhury Lounge of the Dhaka Club.
The festival Director and President of Rainbow Film Society Ahmed Mostofa Jamal announced that the 19th edition of DIFF will be held on January 16-24, 2021 and would be dedicated to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, marking the occasion of his birth centenary as Mujib Year, although it is officially being celebrated this year.
The lanterns here are made by professional teams from Zigong, a city in southwest China's Sichuan Province which is famous for lantern-making. The festival will last until Feb. 23, 2020.
People takes photos during the lantern festival
People visit a lantern festival held in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province
People visiting the lantern festival held in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province
Art experts have confirmed that a painting discovered hidden inside an Italian art gallery's walls last month is Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of a Lady," which was stolen from the gallery nearly 23 years ago.
The authentication of the painting announced Friday solved one of the art world's enduring mysteries - where did the missing work end up? - but left several questions unanswered, including who had taken it and whether it ever left the museum's property.
A gardener at the Ricci Oddi Modern Art Gallery in the northern city of Piacenza who was clearing away ivy noticed a small panel door on a wall outside and opened it. Inside the space, he found a plastic bag containing a painting that appeared to be the missing masterpiece.
"It's with no small emotion that I can tell you the work is authentic," Piacenza Prosecutor Ornella Chicca told reporters Friday while two police officers stood on either side of an easel bearing the recovered painting.
"Portrait of a Lady," which depicts a young woman sensually glancing over her shoulder against a dreamy moss green background, is a later work by Klimt, dating from 1916-17. It was reported missing in February 1997.
Since the gardener's discovery on Dec. 10, the canvas had been kept in a vault of a local branch of Italy's central bank while experts used infrared radiation and other non-invasive techniques to determine if it was the original "Portrait of a Lady."
Experts said the painting was in remarkably good condition. One of the few signs of damage was a scratch near the edge of the canvas that may have resulted "from a clumsy effort to remove the portrait from its frame," said Anna Selleri, an art restorer from the National Gallery in Bologna.
The experts who did the verification work found persuasive evidence in the work of their peers more than two decades ago.
While preparing for an exhibit shortly before "Portrait of a Lady" disappeared, an Italian art student noticed a similarity between the painting and another piece by Klimt. Intrigued by the student's theory, experts at the time discovered that Klimt painted "Portrait of a Lady" on top of an earlier portrait of a woman.
Those studying the work in recent weeks, with the aid of X-rays, saw the earlier portrait. Selleri said the radiation analysis revealed that while painting the later portrait, Klimt didn't redo much of the face, but used whitish pigment from the earlier version for the skin.
"Portrait of a Lady" was officially listed as missing on Feb. 22, 1997 but might have been snatched from a gallery wall a few days earlier, during the exhibit preparation work.
So who stole the painting? Chicca said police were studying some traces of organic material on the recovered canvas in hopes they might provide leads.
Asked if authorities knew if the piece had ever left the gallery's grounds, investigators said that's something else they hope to find out.
Bangladeshi filmmaker Monjurul Islam Megh has been included as a member of an international jury of the 6th Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) 2020.
The RIFF will be held from January 18 to 22 at Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The international jury team includes French actress and producer Marianne Borgo, actor and moderator in film festivals Charles Thomson, writer, researcher, journalist, fillmmaker from Bangladesh Monjurul Islam Megh, internationally acclaimed film maker from Iran Hassan Nazer.
The 6th RIFF will be organised by RIFF Film Club.
Two films from Bangladesh are selected for competition. ‘Fagun Haway’ directed by Tauquir Ahmed was selected for feature film competition and ‘Mala Bhabi’ directed by Mejanur Rahman Labu in the short film category.
Bangladesh High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria will participate in the third ‘Asian Film Festival’ to be held at Caesar Hall, Abuja from January 23-26.
Ontorjatra, directed by Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud, will be screened at the upcoming film festival where a total of eight Asian countries are participating.
Bangladesh also participated at the second Asian Film Festival in 2019 and “Rina Brown,” a film based on the War of Liberation was screened which earned wide appreciation, said the High Commission.
The High Commission in Abuja invited all foreign friends and expatriate Bangladesh nationals in Nigeria to watch the film - Ontorjatra with English sub-titles on the opening day – January 23 at 5:30pm.
Upon its release on 2006, the film achieved critical and commercial success.