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3 film societies boycott federation's 50th anniversary due to Bashundhara’s sponsorship

Published : Monday, 20 March, 2023 at 9:24 AM  Count : 498

3 film societies boycott federation's 50th anniversary due to Bashundhara’s sponsorship

3 film societies boycott federation's 50th anniversary due to Bashundhara’s sponsorship

Three leading film societies chose to abstain from the Federation of Film Societies of Bangladesh (FFSB)'s golden jubilee celebration event which was held on Sunday at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Zahir Raihan Film Society and Jahangirnagar Cine Society, two film societies affiliated with Jahangirnagar University, as well as Jagannath University Cinema Society, a member of the FFSB, boycotted the ceremony once it emerged that the Bashundhara Group was one of the sponsors of the event, UNB reports.
In a joint statement signed by its president Nafis Mahmud and general secretary Bhabna Mukherjee, the Jahangirnagar Cine Society announced its decision to abstain from the ceremony, stating that the celebration event lost its moral position due to taking sponsorship from such an entity.

They expressed their disappointment and sadness at learning that Bashundhara Group was the sponsor, as the allegation of the rape and murder of college student Mosarat Jahan Munia against Bashundhara Group managing director Sayem Sobhan Anvir is listed as one of the most talked-about topics in recent times.

In a joint statement, Moutusi Zubaida Rahman and Rifat Khan Anik, the president and general secretary of the Zahir Raihan Film Society, made clear their intention to boycott the FFSB's event, expressing similar disappointment. In fact the society named after Bangladesh's pioneering filmmaker was the first to boycott on these grounds.

The Jagannath University Film Society stated in its boycott statement that the FFSB could not maintain its moral stance "while accepting funding from the Bashundhara group and Anvir"; however, it also stated that it would participate in FFSB events in the future if it could regain its moral stance.

Despite these three associations’ boycotting, FFSB held its celebration event at BSA’s National Theatre Hall on Sunday, which was joined by Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud as the chief guest.

Regarding the decision of the three film societies over the sponsorship, FFSB general secretary Belayat Hossain Mamun said that FFSB approached many for sponsorship as it needed funds to organise such a big event and Bashundhara Group stepped forward with sponsorship. The members of FFSB have the right to take their decisions and FFSB welcomes their stances, he said.

In the event, the 'Best Film Council of Six Decades Award' was given to the selected film councils out of hundreds of film councils for their special contribution to the excellence of the country's film culture, including the Zahir Raihan Film Society.

On April 26, 2021, police recovered the hanging body of Munia from a flat in the capital's Gulshan area. Munia's elder sister, Nusrat Jahan Tania, filed a case against Anvir that night accusing him of incitement to suicide, stating that Munia was in a relationship with Anvir who regularly visited her at the Gulshan apartment.

The police however, in September 2021 saidt hat it has not found any evidence against Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir and eight other accused in college student Mosarat Jahan Munia rape and murder case.

Later however a rape and murder case was filed against Anvir at the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal, which appointed the PBI to investigate. However PBI has been unable to submit the investigation report as yet.


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