Chattogram University student Tajul Maruf is an actor and has plans to make films in the future. He had come to learn about the different aspects of filmmaking.
Meanwhile, Dhaka College student Khairul Islam is obsessed with cinema but couldn’t think of any way to learn more about this directly. He thought the ‘master-class’ with talented film industry pundits would be a unique experience.
European Film Festival was an event to remember for many youth who similarly wanted to know more about filmmaking. The festival started on Friday, at the joint initiative of European Union and Prothom Alo. It is being held at the British Council premises on Fuller Road of Dhaka University.
The event has been organised for young filmmakers to enrich the diversity of European and Bangladeshi culture through creativity. The purpose is to showcase emerging talents as well as to form cultural exchange and mutual understanding.
Cinema lovers from different educational institutes including Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University and Jagannath University had joined the festival. Alongside university students, cinema crew also started gathering on Fuller Road from 3:30pm. After completing registration, they participated in the master-class. The main discussion started at 3:45pm.
At the beginning, Cineuropa director Valerio Caruso gave the youth an idea of European cinema. Joining the event virtually, he outlined many such topics such as European cinema’s history, revolution, pioneers, revenue, number of female filmmakers and funding sources. His discussion included topics on investments are being made in television programme and how they are advancing either.
He linked Bangladeshi cinema with all this. During his discussion, he said that the European cinema industry is worth more than EUR 120 billion (12,000 crore). While the box office collection of cinemas has been declining since 2022, OTTs are occupying the market, he said.
Towards the end of the discussion, he advised Bangladeshi filmmakers to present their screenplays in the European market for funding and to work on joint production projects. Upon concluding his discussion, he answered various queries of the participants. One of the participants asked, presenting which sort of Bangladeshi stories in the European film market would widen the possibility of receiving funds? In reply, he advised on submitting better stories based in the Bangladeshi context.
Syeda Neegar Banu of Khulna attended the event on Friday. She shared her struggles of starting to work behind the camera as a female filmmaker, with everyone. Reflecting on her own journey, Neegar said that none of her family members helped her that much in the beginning while she told them about pursuing a career in filmmaking.
In fact, when she filled up a scholarship form to study cinema her family stopped that form from being submitted and for a long time, she didn’t even know about it. Suddenly one day she found out the filled up form left in the house. On that very day she made a promise to herself that she would definitely go abroad to study cinema. After completing her studies on filmmaking, she returned to the country. But she had to face various obstacles while entering the work field. As a woman, she faced obstacles on every step along the way.
She said, “I silently tolerated all the obstacles because I didn’t want to lose the position I was in. Later on everyone came forward with help.” She has been busy with filmmaking lately. She has made the film ‘Nona Pani’ based on the life stories of people living in coastal Khulna. Apart from that, she has been making a film on crowd-funding.
Different technical issues are becoming more and more important for filmmaking. Knowledge of camera is a significant one of them. Cinematographer Apu Rozario highlighted the significance of this topic. He gave ideas about how still photographs came from painting and how the modern-day videography has flourished based on aspects borrowed from paintings such as the source of light and positions of the characters.
At the time, he practically explained the subject of light source showing images of quite a few paintings including the famous painting ‘The School of Athens’ done by Rafael. He then went on to highlight the use of modern technology in cameras. In the end film producer Carlos Yonte Montero joined in an online discussion about film marketing.
This two-day master-class will end today, Saturday, 16 September. Film and advertisement Piplu R Khan, Amitabh Reza Chowdhury will participate on the last day. Apart from this, director and sound designer Nicolas Blasband will join virtually. The two-day masterclass is being conducted by Tahmina Sultana.
Meanwhile, ‘European Film Festival-2023’ is about start tomorrow, Sunday, 17 September at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. A total of 300 guests including Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman and diplomats of different countries will be present at the opening ceremony. Films of the festival will be screened at the Alliance Francaise, the Dutch Club and the University Club. The festival is scheduled to end on 23 September.