Vol. 5 Num 1045 Fri. May 11, 2007  

Illustrious career of a filmmaker
In conversation with Shibly Sadick

One of the leading mainstream filmmakers of the country Shibly Sadick has won appreciation for several of his movies such as Tin Konya, Achena, Nitibaan, Bheja Chokh, Dangshon, Ma Mati Desh and others. All 34 movies directed by Sadick are box-office hits. Winner of a National Award for the movie Achena, his movies were screened at festivals in Canada and India.

The seasoned filmmaker began his career in 1964 as an assistant director. To quote Sadick, "As a student of Art College (now Institute of Fine Arts), I was fascinated by Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali. The movie ignited my passion for films and filmmaking. Subsequently, I started working as an assistant to filmmaker Mustafizur Rahman in the movie Talash in 1964. I also assisted Soovas Dutt until early '70s. I learnt the technicalities of filmmaking from him."

The first movie directed by Shibly Sadick was Sheeth Bashanto (1969). His first movie after the Liberation War was Jibon Niye Jua. Till 1977, he could not decide what his approach to the medium should be. To quote him, "I was undecided whether to make commercial or alternative movies. Aesthetically rich movies only seem to attract a handful of urban enthusiasts. Commercial movies become blockbusters and they are not for the intellectuals. In the history of Bangladeshi filmdom, except Khan Ataur Rahman, no director has made aesthetically rich blockbusters. At the initial stage of my career I have made alternative films such as Nolok for which my peers lampooned me labelling 'atel' (pretentious intellectual). After that I decided to make mainstream films targeted towards the masses."

Shibly Sadick was elected the President of Bangladesh Film Director's Association. Referring to the current Dhaliwood scenario, Sadick said, "The standard of our movie industry has been deteriorating. The main reason behind the fall is lack of resources.

Nowadays, producers offer around Tk 30-40 lakh for a movie, an amount with which directors cannot make quality movies. To fill the vacuum, uneducated and incompetent 'filmmakers' are infiltrating our film arena with below standard, obscene movies. These people don't even have the capability to copy a foreign film, let alone work on original movies. Before and after Independence, several directors have worked on projects inspired by foreign films. But, they maintained minimum standard to attract the viewers. Moreover, there is a major dearth of efficient technical hands in the film industry."

With young talents showing interest for the film the industry, Shibly Sadick believes, "good days are ahead". To quote him, "I'm an instructor of a film certificate course organised by NIMCO (National Institute of Mass Communication). I've noticed that quite a few talented individuals with good educational background are interested in films. Reason enough to be optimistic."

Sadick believes that an institute providing extensive education on films -- emphasising technicalities -- must be established immediately.

Shibly Sadick. PHOTO: STAR