"Rainbow Film Society has been organising the DIFF every year since 1992 with support from different organisations. Unfortunately, that support is dwindling," festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal said at a press conference in the capital Thursday.

"To continue this acclaimed festival in the future, we need proper financial assistance from the government and elite members of society and corporations, the driving force behind every other successful film festival across the world."

About the unavailability of suitable venues for the festival, newly elected Jatiya Press Club (JPC) general secretary Shyamal Dutta said the JPC is going to serve as one of the venues for the upcoming edition of the DIFF.

Films will be screened at the Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib auditorium (main auditorium) and Poet Sufia Kamal auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum, National Art Gallery auditorium, Nandan Theatre open ground and Jatiya Sangeet and Nrityakala auditorium of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), Star Cineplex (Bashundhara City) and Alliance Francaise de Dhaka (Dhanmondi) in the capital.

They will be screened under nine categories – Asian cinema competition section, retrospective, wide angle, Bangladesh panorama, cinema of the world, children's films, women filmmakers, short and independent films and spiritual films.

The 21st DIFF will also feature the Ninth Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema 2023 at the Samson Lounge, Dhaka Club, from 15 to 16 January and West Meets East: Screenplay Lab from 15 to 18 January at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka.

This year, the festival will also host a day-long master class for the first time on 21 January at Bangladesh National Museum. It will be led by filmmakers Jon Jost from the US and Anja Strelec from Belgium.

There will also be a special session where script pitching, film studies, and practical filmmaking experience will be discussed by Sadia Khalid Reeti and filmmaker Tasmiah Afrin Mou. Bidhan Rebeiro will conduct the master class sessions.

The 21st Dhaka International Film Festival will draw to a close on 22 January.