Filmmaker Laboni Ashrafi, third from right, receives the Tareq Shahriar Award for Best Independent Short Film from dignitaries during the closing ceremony of the 16th International Short and Independent Film Festival 2022 at the Academy’s National Theater Hall Shilpakala from Bangladesh on Friday. — Sourav Lasker
A Bangladeshi short film and two foreign films won awards at the closing ceremony of the 16th International Short and Independent Film Festival 2022 at the National Theater Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Friday evening.
The festival was organized by the Bangladesh Short Film Forum from February 25 to March 4 at the BSA, Bangladesh National Museum and Bangladesh Film Archive in the capital.
Bangladeshi filmmaker Laboni Ashrafi, directed by Chakrabyuha, won the Tareq Shahriar Award for Best Independent Short Film.
Laboni received a crest, certificate and 25,000 Tk as part of the award. AKM Zakaria chaired the jury while Sadia Khalid Reeti and Sameer Ahmed were members of the jury.
Survival and School from Kosovo, directed by Ilir Kabashi, won the award for best documentary in the international competition and Qatari filmmaker Majid Al Remaihi, And Then They Burn The Sea, directed by And Then They Burn The Sea, won a mention special.
Indian RV Ramani chaired the jury while Swedish filmmaker Ragnhild Ek and Bangladeshi Faridur Rahman served as jury members.
Qatar-based Sudanese-Russian filmmaker Suzannah Mirghani directed Al-Sit won the award for best fiction film in the international competition and Egyptian filmmaker Sameh Alaa directed I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face won a special mention.
Jahnui Barua from India chaired the jury. May Odeh from Palestine and Morshedul Islam from Bangladesh were members of the jury.
The two winners of the prize for best documentary and the prize for best fiction received a crest, a certificate and $1,000 each.
Representatives of the Bangladesh Short Film Forum received the awards on behalf of the two award-winning filmmakers, who were unable to travel to Bangladesh due to the Covid situation.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Hasan Mahmud was present as guest of honor at the closing ceremony of the festival.
BSA Managing Director Liaquat Ali Lucky was present as a special guest at the program, which was chaired by Bangladesh Short Film Forum Chairman Zahidur Rahim Anjan.
In addition, the chairman of the organizing committee of the festival Nasiruddin Yousuff and the director Syed Imran Hossain Kirmani were present on the program.
“Some short films expose often overlooked societal issues that need to be addressed. Short, independent films help us understand our responsibilities to society. In recent times, many talented young Bangladeshi filmmakers are making independent short films that are winning international awards and praise,” Hasan Mahmud said.
Syed Imran Hossain Kirmani said, “We had to overcome different challenges to organize the festival in the context of the Covid situation. The festival received a huge response from the public. I thank all those who played a role in the success of this festival.
Laboni Ashrafi said, “I am grateful to the Bangladesh Film and Television Institute for training me as a filmmaker. I dedicated this award to Manzare Hassin Murad who inspired me to bring out the best in me,” she said.
This year’s festival featured 414 films from 130 countries.
More than 60 short films, recently screened at Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Locarno and Busan festivals, and 70 Bangladeshi films were screened at the event.
A total of 3,862 films were submitted to the festival. The slogan for this year’s festival was Free Cinema Free Expression.
The festival also featured lectures, seminars, political dialogue and film masterclasses.