The Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) is one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind in Bangladesh, which has helped shape an increasingly healthy film culture. The festival creates opportunity for local film lovers to watch contemporary films of the world. Since many internationally reputed filmmakers and critics come, the festival works as a bridge between local filmmakers and foreign delegates.
The Festival is organised on a regular basis by Rainbow Film Society, which has been dedicated to the promotion of a vibrant cine culture in Bangladesh and in celebrating the global mainstream in film and its social relevance since 1977. In the short span of seventeen years, DIFF has attained international recognition with ten festivals.
The upcoming 11th session of the festival is expected to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on January 14 at the National Museum. The theme of the festival is “Better Film, Better Audience, Better Society” that will continue till January 22. Approximately 100 films with participation from 50 countries are expected to be screened in the festival. The festival will have a competition section for Australian and Asian cinema and segment categories for: "Retrospective", " Tribute", "Cinema of the World "," Children's Film "," Focus "," Bangladesh Panorama ", Women Filmmakers "," Independent Films Section" and "Spiritual Films Section".
"Fiction films from Asia and Australia with a minimum length of 70 minutes are eligible for entry in the competition section," informs Festival Director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal, " An international jury board will adjudicate the section. The award will include a crest, certificate and a cash prize of Tk. 100,000/- for the best film. The international jury committee will also select one Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music Director and Best Cinema tographer. These awards will consist of a crest and certificate."
A jury committee of the international film critics' federation FIPRESCI will select one film for the Critics' Award, which consists of a crest and a certificate, he says. "A five-member special jury selects one film from among all entries in the Festival for the Rainbow Award (covering all segments). This award also consists of a crest and a certificate. The audience awards for Best Film and for Best Juvenile Film will also earn a crest and certificate. They can vote sending text messages", Zamal says.
French filmmaker Jacques Demy's movies will be screened in the retrospective section. Seven films by Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Iranian filmmaker Rasoul Sadr Ameli will be screened in the tribute section.
Iranian films will dominate the Children section and Women Filmmakers section and competition section. In this connection the festival secretary says, "Iranian filmmakers these days are making wonderful movies. In many international festivals they are dominating. But it does not mean we are only focusing on the Asian filmmakers in the festival. Many European, African and American filmmakers are also participating in several sections like Cinema of The world section, Spiritual Films section, Independent Film section and others.”
He further adds that five to seven films spanning the period from 1956 to 2009 have been selected for the Bangladesh Panorama.
The festival also includes a series of seminars by international speakers will be held 16 - 17 January and a cine workshop. "During the festival, International Film Critics Association-IFCAB is going to organise the second Dhaka Cine Workshop 2010 from January 16 to 21 for aspiring young filmmakers, film critics and journalists."
The Workshop will be an intensive weeklong academic exercise with creative professionals from diverse fields of the film industry as speakers and moderators, says Zamal. Eligible for participation in the Cine Workshop are young film critics or journalists. The last date of request for registration is November 15, 2009.
(R) thedailystar.net 2009