‘Nonajoler Kabbo’ Wins Hiralal Sen 1428 Award for Best Feature Film

Photo: collected from Facebook


Photo: collected from Facebook

After a two-year hiatus, the Amar Bhashar Cholochitro 1428 Film Festival, organized by the Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS), ended yesterday.

From February 22 to 26, after five days of film screenings and interactive sessions, the event ended with the awarding of the Hiralal Sen Prize.

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The closing ceremony was held in the auditorium of the Teacher-Student Center (TSC), attended by renowned filmmaker and freedom fighter Nasir Uddin Yousuff and Chairman of the Federation of Bangladesh Film Societies Lailun Nahar Shemi, in as main guests. Filmmakers Rezwan Shahriar Sumit and Humayra Bilkis, actress Dilruba Hossain Doyel and other notable film personalities attended the ceremony.

“Nonajoler Kabbo” (The Salt in Our Waters) won the Hiralal Sen 1428 Award in the Best Feature Film category at the Amar Bhashar Cholochitro Film Festival.

“Rehana Maryam Noor”, “Laal Moroger Jhuti”, “Chandrabati Kotha” and “Raat Jaga Phool” were also nominated for this award.

The film’s director, Rezwan Shahriar Sumit, took to his Facebook to announce the making by posting some stills from the event, a poster of the film and a photo of the award.

“Hats off to the organizers of this year’s event! You are amazing. I understand how difficult it is to organize a festival like this, but you do it with such enthusiasm and professionalism”, reads- one in his caption. “An interesting note: My first ‘finished’ short film was screened at a Dhaka University Film Society event at the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh fifteen years ago. This film was purely an experience for me, I had no no idea what I was doing at the time, but the encouragement I received was invaluable.”

“Nonajoler Kabbo” was released in theaters in November last year, having been highly praised at screenings at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the Busan International Film Festival, the International Film Festival London Film and the Kolkata International Film Festival.

The film stars Fazlur Rahman Babu, Shatabdi Wadud, Titas Zia, and Tasnova Tamanna, among others.

The Best Story Award went to drama based on Nurul Alam Atique’s liberation war, “Laal Moroger Jhuti” (2021). Directed by N Rashed Chowdhury, ‘Chandrabati Kotha’ won Best Cinematography and Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s ‘Rehana Maryam Noor’ won for Best Editing.

“It was really a struggle – from funding to the difficulties we faced in post-production, then the pandemic. This film is the result of our hard work and struggle. It’s incredible to receive such an award, here in our own country,” Rezwan Shahriar Sumit, director of “Nonajoler Kabbo,” said at the ceremony.

“Living with the fishermen for two months, immersing ourselves in the life of the inhabitants of the seaside, we wanted it to be as authentic as possible.”

Filming for the film was completed in 2018 but it suffered delays during post-production.

The director, who is also an alumnus of the University of Dhaka, highlighted the importance of these film festivals for the independent film scene.

“Funding and distribution of independent films is quite a challenge in our country. Organizations like DUFS and events like this enable independent filmmakers to reach a wider audience,” he added.

“As the child of a freedom fighter, it is a great honor to be awarded for a film that depicts our war of liberation,” said Dilruba Hossain Doyel, after receiving the award for best story .

Director Nurul Alam Atique said he was delighted with the young audiences who came to the film screenings.

“From decorations to onstage props, we have tried to keep everything as environmentally friendly as possible,” said Al Sahariar Ziddne, President of DUFS. “All credit for the success of this event goes to the members.”

In a bid to pay homage to the martyrs of the language movement and Bengali cinema, this annual DUFS festival was abruptly halted as the world was gripped by the global pandemic. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the return of the festival as people of all ages flocked to the TSC premises every day during the event.

A total of 19 feature films and a documentary were screened this year. After each screening, moviegoers participated in interactive sessions with the team members present. The festival also included an exhibition of life-size posters of Bengali films throughout history, of the two Bengals.

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