Badal Rahman, one of the remarkable names of mainstream movie
Badal Rahman was a veteran film director. Born in1949, he completed his diploma in Film Editing from National Film and Television Institute of India, widely known as Pune Film Institute. He was amongst the first Bangladeshis to earn a film-related degree. After returning to the country, he, along with Syed Salahuddin Zaki, made his first film "Prottashar Shurjo" in 1974.
In 1980 Rahman became the first director to create a full-length feature film for children in Bangladesh ---"Emiler Goenda Bahini". The film was an adoption of Erich Kastner's novel Emil und die Detektive published in 1929.
After directing "Emiler Goenda Bahini", he made two more children's films - "Kanthal Burir Bagan" and "Chhana O Muktijuddha", both funded by Bangladesh Shishu Academy. Rahman served as the president of the Federation of Film Societies of Bangladesh (FFSB) until his death. Rahman was the convenor of the present movement to establish the national film policy.
"Badal was a leading activist in the film society movement in Bangladesh. He was amiable in nature. Rahman was a frontrunner in the movement for better films in Bangladesh. Films on and for children are few and far between in Bangladesh. Rahman's 'Emiler Goenda Bahini' was a groundbreaking work," said filmmaker Morshedul Islam.
Badal had been working with child actors since he was a BTV producer. As a BTV producer he used to make programmes slanted to entertain children. Selim Al Deen and Al Mansur were his assistants who used do the scripting. Al Mansur gave a translation of German children's author Erich Kastner's (1899-1974) novel Emil and the Detectives (1929) titled Emili-er Goyenda Bahini. During Rahman stayed in Pune he got chance to watch children's film classics from around the world. In those days Rahman began scripting of "Emili-er Goyenda Bahini". Returning to Bangladesh Rahman submitted the script for a government grant in 1978.
After the release of the movie in 1981, it got many national awards including best movie of the year. Badal got two awards-- best director and editor.
Badal made over 50 documentaries for government and non-government organisations. Of these Self Portrait: Bangladesh and It's for Your Asking, basically are promotional films on Bangladesh and its export commodities, which were screened abroad.In 2011, filmmakers Saiful Islam and Belayet Hossain jointly directed a documentary based on Rahman's life and immense contributions to Bangladesh Mainstream Film. Dhaka International Film Festival renamed Best Children Film Award as Badal Rahman Award.
June 11 marked the 9th death anniversary of the filmmaker.
The writer is a freelance contributor.