Words with Mabrur Rashid Bannah
A brilliant director who has already made a name of his own in a young age through intriguing passion and a bunch of amazing works. He shared some of his words of wisdom and personal preferences with The Daily Observer to Tanvir Shams.
'Backbenchers' airing on SATV, 'House Forty Four' airing on NTV.
Last year's production
On Eid-ul-Azha --- 'After Marriage', 'It's My Love Story', 'Haar Naki Jeet', 'Hate You', 'Lal Ronga Shopno', 'Ekti 3 Masher Golpo', 'Mayapurer Maya' etc.
On Eid-ul-Fitr --- 'A Journey to Chittagong', 'Tini Amader Bakar Bhai', '100 Out of 100', 'Masti Reloaded', 'Dui Mechanic' etc.
'Back to the Point', 'Golpe Jemon Hoy', 'Chile Kothar Paying Guest'.
The name of my YouTube channel is 'Underground Creative Factory (UCF)'. There are also a few more upcoming YouTube channels of mine --- 'Mabrur Rashid Bannah', 'Best of Nine and a Half', 'Best of House Forty Four', and 'Best of Backbenchers'.
The YouTube channel have/will have random videos --- short comedy videos, social awareness related videos, songs, uncut and directors cut of my video fictions. Lastly, video fictions and telefilms of UCF.
I always try to mix it up --- youth based, romantic dramas, thriller, action etc. I never stick to one genre. However, I do love to make romantic dramas.
First directorial work in TV
Flashback, my first drama, aired on NTV in 2011.
Work in industries…
I not only for TV. I also work in the online platform. I have also been a short-film maker once. I have made about 7 short-films.
Beginning of work…
I started with making short-films. Even though, at the very beginning, I had no idea about film-making whatsoever. Yet, I still kept on making. The only thing I had first was the desire. I had a handy camera, with that I started shooting. Then, I realized that there are many things to learn here. So, after getting admitted in the Department of Communication and Media Studies of UODA, I learned the basics. On the contrary, for acquiring practical skills, I started working as an Assistant Director.
Definitely, making a film. That's my ultimate goal. However, I need to ensure that the audience can connect to it. My film will represent me, of course, my taste, sense and touch but it should be relatable to my viewers. As a filmmaker, I think that's my first priority. Moreover, the target audience can be of any class. Mostly, mass.
Do you only direct?
No. I also write. 90 per cent of my directorial works are also written by me.
Notable actors you worked with
Many. Mosharraf Karim, Mir Sabbir, Aly Zaker, Iresh Zaker, Ziaul Faruq Apurba, John, Tahsan. Tisha, Mithila, Meem, Mou etc. Among the young talents, Tawsif, Jovan, Salman, Shomik, Shouvik, Shamim, Tamim, Tasnuva Tisha, Mehazabien, Sabnam Faria, Nadia, Shakh etc.
Thoughts on giving opportunities to newcomers…
I support it a lot. I feel it is one of my responsibilities to provide the industry new actors and actresses.
Happily married since two years. The name of my better half is Sania Afrin. Before marriage, we have been together for 5 years. She is a lecturer.
Activities during leisure
There are three things that I do in my free time. I try to have some sound sleep, binge watch films and TV shows and last but not the least, I roam around with my wife.
I am very much inspired by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. Besides him, other favorites are Iftekhar Ahmed Fahmi, Adnan Al Rajeev. On the other hand, if I have to name favourites from foreign industries, then Majid Majidi, although I don't follow his pattern, Abbas Kiarostami, Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali, Christopher Nolan etc.
Thoughts on working in foreign industries
I'd love to. Of course, I'd like international recognition. However, there are some 'but's. I wouldn't mind doing joint-venture films but the current custom is when a film like that gets released in India, for example, the credit goes to Indian director. Vice versa, when it is released in Bangladesh, the credit goes to Bangladeshi director. This is just a business strategy. I don't want to take part in this kind of rubbish. If I ever work in a foreign industry, it has to be solely my film, Mabrur Rashid Bannah's film.
Positive remarks of our industry
It is growing very fast. More and more people are getting involved. Now, more people are passionate to work in this sector. The culture is rising. Online platform is playing a huge role as well.
Negative remarks of our industry
We are not able to think globally. The target audience should be people from both home and abroad.
Football and Cricket. The season of Fifa World Cup is the best time that I pass in every 4 years. Moreover, Manchester United and Real Madrid are my favourite clubs. Nonetheless, Brazil is my favourite international team. Furthermore, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Ibrahimovic are my favourite footballers.
Humayun Ahmed, Zafar Iqbal, Ahsan Habib. A brilliant family.
Thoughts on shooting in foreign locations
It is hard to maintain quality if the shooting is done in foreign locations. The proper technical support to shoot in a foreign location is what we lack. Many producers don't hire proper technicians to save money. So, if proper technical support is ensured, only then I'll shoot in foreign locations.
Advice for future directors
The first problem is we don't have proper schooling. Moreover, many cannot afford to go abroad to study in it. So, the only option available is to be an assistant director. The universities we have that offer courses in filmmaking, I believe, those only provide theoretical knowledge but no practical experience. A film not only consists of writing. It has to be visually portrayed properly. It has its own language. I don't know how much of that is practiced in the universities.
Another thing is, passion and patience are the keys. If one lacks any one of them, then he/she wouldn't be able to be a filmmaker. As the life of an assistant director is very difficult, one has to work hard. If one cannot go through that hardship, then it is highly unlikely for anyone to be a maker in the current scenario of our country.