Dhaka International Film Festival on the cards

The 12th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) will be held from January 12 to 20, 2012. The slogan of the festival is “Better Film, Better Audience, Better Society”. The festival is organised by Rainbow Film Society, which is dedicated to the promotion of a healthy cine culture in Bangladesh, and celebrates global cinema.

The organisers have asked for submissions from Bangladeshi filmmakers. The last date for submission is October 31, 2011. For details, enthusiastic filmmakers can visit the official website of the festival: www.dhakafilmfest.org.

The organisers have decided to pay tribute to the recently deceased Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud through screening his films in the Tribute segment. The films include “Runway” (2010), “Ontorjatra” (2005), “Matir Moina” (2002) and “Muktir Gaan” (1995).

The highlight of the festival would be presence of one of the pioneering Iranian “New Wave” filmmakers — Dariush Meherjui. “He will attend the festival as a delegate and seven of his films will be screened in the Retrospective segment,” confirmed festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal. Meherjui’s “Gaav” (The Cow, 1969) is widely considered as the pioneering film of Iranian New Wave. The Retrospective segment will feature Meherjui’s films “Santoori” (2007), “Mum’s Guest” (2004), “Baanoo” (1999), “Sara” (1993), “The Tenants” (1986) and “The Cycle” (1978).

Two Iranian women filmmakers — Manijeh Hekmat and Tahmineh Milani — will also attend the festival as delegates. Indian filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan is expected to be present at the festival as well.

The DIFF is one of the most prestigious film events in Bangladesh. Necessary preparatory work in this regard is already underway. The festival will have a competition section for Asian cinema and several categories — “Retrospective”, “Tribute(s)”, “Cinema of the World”, “Children’s Film”, “Focus”, “Bangladesh Panorama”, “Women Filmmakers”, “Independent Films Section” and “Spiritual Films Section”.

Competition Section will feature films from Asia and Australia — with a minimum length of 70 minutes. A five-member independent international jury, appointed by the festival committee, will adjudicate. Prizes will be awarded to the directors of the winning films. The Best Film award carries a cash prize of Tk 100,000. FIPRESCI, the International Film Critics Federation, will also present its own awards in this category.

A series of seminars by international speakers will be held on January 14 and 15. The Seminar Series will be organised by the International Film Critics Association of Bangladesh (IFCAB).

In the short span of nineteen years, DIFF has attained international recognition with eleven festivals held since 1992. The 11th Dhaka International Film Festival was held in January (14-22), 2010 with around 193 films from 66 countries, including Bangladesh.

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