Vol. 5 Num 31 Sun. June 27, 2004  

Tagore's Shasti goes on celluloid
Chashi makes another movie based on literary piece

For the first time in the long 50-year history of cinema in Bangladesh, a feature film is going to be made based on a story of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore. Impress Telefilm has come up with this project of filming Tagore's short story Shasti (punishment). The Shubho Muharat of the film, to be directed by renowned filmmaker Chashi Nazrul Islam, took place at the Ball Room of Hotel Sheraton yesterday.

Minister for Information M Shamsul Islam clicked an electronic clapstick to mark the beginning of the film of the same name. He was present there as the chief guest. Among others present at the event were Information Secretary AMM Nasir Uddin, Faridur Reza Sagar of Impress Telefilm, President of Film Directors and Producers Association KMR Manjur and director of Shasti Chashi Nazrul Islam, and Head of Corporate Banking, HSBC, Adil Islam.

Speakers expressed their surprise that in its long span Bangladeshi cinema has not yet seen any film based on the literary work of Rabindranath Tagore. Nazrul Islam said that although he has made several movies based on literary pieces of a few great litterateurs including Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Prafulla Roy, M Mohiuddin, Rabeya Khatun and Selina Hossain, he had never ventured into the realm of Rabindranath Tagore. 'The reason is that Rabindranath is so vast and so extraordinary that I wasn't felt courageous enough to make a film on his works,' he said.

The information secretary, also the chairperson of the Film Censor Board, said that in his short tenure of two months since April he has noticed that the current trend of commercial films aims at a particular sect of audience which is devoid of sophisticated people and especially women. Ventures like the filming of Tagore's Shasti 'would surely bring those audience back to the halls,' he expected.

Sponsored by HSBC bank, the shooting of the film will begin soon. The director has already selected actors for the three principal characters: popular actresses Purnima and Champa will portray the roles of Chandara and Radha, while Riaz is to play the role of Chhedam, one of the two male protagonists.

A website, www.shastithefilm.ocm, was also launched on this occasion.

Chashi Nazrul Islam (C) and his two heroines Champa (L) and Purnima who will play two lead roles in his film Shasti