Rehana Maryam Noor receives applause in Cannes


If the standing ovation received by Rehana Maryam Noor at the 74th Cannes Film Festival following its screening in the Un Certain Regard section, there is every chance of winning a prize for the film. Even though this hot candidate is not on the list of winners, its inclusion in the top 18 (or 20?) Films in this particular category among hundreds is an extraordinary achievement in itself for writer-director Abdullah Mohammad. Saad, which is the second such adventure after his first feature film Live from Dhaka. Notably, his directorial debut won the “Best Actor” and “Best Director” awards at the Singapore International Film Festival.
Now why is this such an amazing achievement? In English translation, ‘Un Certain Regard’ means ‘from another angle’. So here is a category that stands out for unusual styles and non-traditional stories. Unlike popular and commercial feature films, these films are off track and deal with complex issues or even ordinary subjects in light of a perspective where the deeper meaning is unraveled layer by layer to show inner values ​​eluding most observers. .
It is a difficult journey for a screenwriter or a filmmaker to present the hidden truth, the reality beyond the apparent because appearances can be deceptive. As the name of the category that Saad’s Rehana Maryam Noor has been included in suggests, this is an endorsement of a filmmaker of a different genre — one who sees life from a different perspective in order to unravel the hidden truth, the reality within.
No other Bangladeshi film, except Matir Moyna (The Clay Bird) by Tareque Masud, has ever represented the country in one of the official segments of one of the three most prestigious film festivals. : the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival. . Masud’s internationally renowned film was screened in the Editors’ Fortnight section in 2002 and won the Fipresci Prize.
This time, Saad is also not included in the main competition category. However, this is an extraordinary achievement as no other Bangladeshi film has been invited to this category earlier. In this section there are prizes like Jury Prize, Special Jury Prize, Special Distinction Prize, Best Actor, Best Performance, Best Screenplay etc. for which Rehan Maryam Noor of Saad will compete.
If awarded, it will advance Bangladeshi films from multiple leagues in one fell swoop, as it will confirm recognition of world-class film talent in that country. The young filmmaker has already made the country proud of his accomplishments so far. If he receives an award, it will not only be an addition of a feather to his cap, but also a rude awakening of the film industry mafias that dominate her without talent or cinematic talent. The bizarre, crass and pedestrian films produced by the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation have already prompted the traumatic disintegration of the industry.
As such, Saad’s film will serve as a beacon for many other young talents who are being sidelined. When these young filmmakers opt for innovative and experimental film genres, they do not receive patronage. With limited budgets, they have to fight to the end to finish their jobs. Even if they end a movie somehow, their films are not shown in theaters and therefore cannot reach a wider audience. Thus there is little opportunity for the taste of the spectators for good films. By the time of the last Eid-ul-Fitr, a few really good films by young filmmakers were due to be shown but they couldn’t get them out in theaters because big budget trash movies were capturing theaters.
Let young film talents like Saad be encouraged to come up with films that will win top prizes at renowned film festivals around the world. Only then will people develop a taste for good films and through this a desirable cultural transition will take place on this front.

About Monty S. Maynard

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