DHAKA: Three documentaries from Bangladesh are among 63 non-fiction films will be screened in Film Southasia 2017, the eleventh edition of the premiere non-fiction film festival for the region, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Festival opens on November 2 with the theme ‘Documentary Bears Witness’.
The non-fiction films from Bangladesh are The Scar (Khotocinho) directed by Pradip Ghosh, Workers Voices (Sramik Awaaz) directed by Mohammad Romel and Rope (Roshi) directed by Yasmine Kabir.
The Scar, which will be shown in the non-competitive ‘Documentaries of Dissent’ section, speaks of terrorist attacks on cultural organizations like the Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi between 1999 and 2005, that killed and maimed several ordinary people.
Directed by Mohammad Romel , the Workers Voices is a crowdfunded documentary that explores the lives, work, and organizing efforts of Bangladesh’s garment workers. Through interviews carried out in 2014 and 2015, and filming through 2016, the film chronicles the barriers faced by the mostly female workers at home, at work, and in life.
The Rope (Roshi), directed and produced by independent filmmaker Yasmine Kabir, is a 10-minute silent documentary about the children who are employed in Dhaka to make rope from jute and work from dawn to dusk twisting, tying, knotting and weaving the fibre.
FSA’17, now in its 20th year, will screen 63 documentaries over four days from November 2 to 5. Selected from over 300 submissions, the festival will showcase the best of non-fiction films on Southasia that address contemporary issues in compelling ways.
Of the 63 films, 45 are in the competitive section and will vie for five awards with a net cash prize worth USD 5,500. A jury comprising of Editor / Publisher Kunda Dixit of Nepal, filmmaker Farjad Nabi of Pakistan and senior journalist Rajashri Dasgupta of India will select the winners.
This year, the festival features two special sections – one on ‘Student Films’ that has been carried over from FSA’15 and the other on ‘Documentaries of Dissent’. Six films by the next generation of filmmakers will be screened under the student film category. Twelve non-fiction films, either banned or highlighting dissent within the region, will be screened under the ‘Documentaries of Dissent’ section that aims to open up confined media spaces and push the bar on freedom of expression in Southasia.
ABOUT FILM SOUTHASIA
Film Southasia is a biennial festival that was set up in 1997 with the goal of popularizing documentary production so that it entertains, informs and helps transform lives and livelihoods. It is in fact the first such festival by and for Southasians in the region, and by far the premiere one even today. The festival believes that film (audio and visual) is a powerful medium that contributes immensely in introspection and initiatives to bring change at the local and national level besides representing the region internationally.
FSA takes place in Kathmandu every two years. Kathmandu as a venue offers the festival a unique geo-political advantage as it allows Southasians to gather and interact without inordinate visa processes and political barriers. The Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi filmmakers are particularly appreciative of this and attend the festival with great enthusiasm each year.
FSA has chosen to employ 'Southasia' as one word in seeking to restore some of the historical unity of our common living space. It believes that the aloof geographical term ‘South Asia’ needs to be injected with some feeling, hence the etymological departure in ‘Southasia’.
BDST: 1148 HRS, OCT 31, 2017