Tête-à-tête with filmmaker Shahneoyaj Cacoly
Shahneoyaj Cacoly is a Bangladeshi film, theatre and tale film director. She made her debut as a director in big screens with the film Uttarer Sur which has been screened in different international film festivals like- Goa International Film Festival, Kolkata International Film Festival (2012), Third Eye Mumbai Film Festival (in Mumbai).
Her works, activities and contribution to the film makes her a source of inspiration for Bangladeshi women.
Shahneoyaj Cacoly's childhood was at Rangpur. At the age of three she lost her father and so her mother had to take care the responsibility. In the childhood she was grown up with seven siblings.
"My childhood was picture-perfect. And when I go down the memory, I feel very pleased about the childhood that I spent. In friends adda, I also like to share the story of my childhood. Everyone has nice childhood in fact," she said.
From her school life she was engaged in social and aesthetic work, which later grows as passion for her.
Her primary schooling was in Carmichael Collegiate School, high school at Salma Girl's School.
"From the childhood I like to draw picture and I attend many competition with the initiatives of Shisu Academy," she informed.
"I was very much interested on carpenters work and from the class 5 or 4 I dreamed I will complete graduation in art. When I completed HSC examination I fulfilled my dream when I got admitted to Charukala Institute in the year of 1996. With my mother's support it was possible to study in Fine Arts, University of Dhaka," she shared.
She was very good in art but said teachers politics comes as a barrier for her to establish herself as a creative painter.
Once upon a time my life was 'I and my canvas', she said.
"I like my work and I give my 100% to 200% effort. That time I was also serious on my work and had full concentration on it. I did many solo exhibitions.
"That time I got introduced to Parn Roy with whom I shared my childhood and gradually developed camaraderie. Pran liked cultural women. He was also expertise in theater because he performed on theater from childhood. We have so many similarities and we decided to get married.
"From 2003 I started art direction in cinema. In 2008 I started directing and work as a filmmaker, she informed.
She said she hardly faced any barrier as woman filmmaker but she lamented that creative activities are this time depends on agency to survive, which is alarming.
"As a woman filmmaker I didn't face any problem when I started but now facing agency depending filmmaking problem.
"It is not possible to practice creative activities when all the Art, Fine Arts, Drama art practice depends on agency."
She also stressed on the requirement of studying and watching films to prepare himself or herself if they want to establish themselves as filmmaker.
"If any woman wants to build career as filmmaker she needs to study on film, watch good filmmaker's film," she suggested.
Last but not the least, she dreams of upholding the country's culture and heritage through her film to the rest of the world.