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Dhaka Int’l Film Fest starts today with film on Syrian refugee crisis

Published : Thursday, 10 January, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 378
Cultural Correspondent

A scene from 'The Guest', the first film of the festival

A scene from 'The Guest', the first film of the festival

The Dhaka International Film Festival? (DIFF) will start from today in the capital for the 17th time. Including one hundred and twenty-two full length features, two hundred and eighteen films made in seventy-two countries will be screened in the festival which will end on January 18. New addition of this year's festival is, "West Meets East", a seminar for pitched discussion among film connoisseurs about the effects and synthesis of eastern and western filmmaking trends. The festival will be inaugurated at 3.30pm today at Main Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum, Shahabagh in the city and right after that at 5pm the first film of the festival will be screened. The film "The Guest" is from Turkish lady filmmaker Andac Haznedaroglu and is in the competitive section of the festival.
At the opening ceremony today chief guest would be former-Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith while special guest would be Information Minister Secretary Abdul Malek with State Minister for Foreign Affairs and also chief patron of the festival, Shahriar Alam in the chair.
Opening Film
The opening film "The Guest" takes us into the heart of refugee crisis enkindled by the ongoing Syrian Civil War. There is a 10-year old girl named Lena, with her baby sister and adult neighbor Meryem in a journey along with other asylum seekers on the road from Aleppo to Istanbul. On reaching Istanbul, Lena finds herself forsaken by people she looked up to but still continues along her struggle, pointing out the composure dormant within human spirit and also the possibility of an eminent war around us.
Categories and Awards
In this year DIFF offers films in eight categories. The only full-fledged global competitive category is Asian Competition Section with twenty-two films and a panel of five jurors to select the Best Film, Director, Actor, Actress, Cinematographer and Screenwriter. The top award in the category that of Best Film has prize money of one lac taka. The remaining awards of the festival each have a crest and a certificate.
Other categories are for Bangladeshi Panorama, Women Film Makers, Short and Independent Films, Children's Films, Spiritual Films. International Film Critics' Association, FIPRESCI would award the Best Film in the Bangladeshi Panorama section which include the ten best Bangladeshi films of 2018. Apart from these 'Cinema of the World' section features fifty-two films with an award for the best film based on viewers' choice. The Retrospective Section this year highlights Serbian director Goran Paskaljevi? through his seven films. The director was placed among the top five filmmakers of the year by Variety in 2001.
This year films would be screened at Main Auditorium and Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum, Shahbagh; Shawkat Osman Smirty Auditorium of Central Public Library, Shahbagh; Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Dhanmondi; National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Segunbagicha and Blockbuster Cinemas of Pragati Sarani. Film directors, critics and delegates will be present at the open lounge set up at Central Public Library, Shahbagh in the city for sharing their thoughts with the general viewers. Everyday five shows will be held at Bangladesh National Museum and Central Public Library from 9.30am. The final shows will start at around 7.30pm. At Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Alliance Francaise de Dhaka four shows will be held everyday till the evening.
Ticket Prices
Tickets for students with ID cards will be free for the first three shows at 10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm at Main Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum and Shawkat Osman Smrity Auditorium of Central Public Library. Others will be charged fifty taka for each show in these venues. Shows at all other venues save Blockbuster Cinemas will be free of charge.

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