The film was directed by Mohammad Shihab Uddin, an independent Bangladeshi director, and produced by the duo Kazi Zahin Hasan and Kazi Zeeshan Hasan of Kazi Farms Group, with the screenplay by Ahmed Khan Hirok and Nasimul Hasan. The animation was done entirely in Bangladesh by the studio Cycore, a Dhaka-based 3D animation studio. On average only 15 artists worked on this film and took 2 years for completion.
After releasing on Deepto TV’s YouTube channel on 21 December 2019, it has been viewed about two million and two hundred fifty-two times so far. This film is now being globally recognized by all and that’s why it has been dubbed in English, Hindi, Urdu and Spanish and will be dubbed in French, Arabic, Dutch, Indonesian, Chinese, Russian, German, Japanese and Portuguese. It also has subtitles in 17 different languages.
This great animated short film follows Ratul, a 6-year-old boy discovering the horrors of climate change with the help of his supernatural friend named ‘Old Man Wind’ or Batasher Buro, who controls the wind and storms. With Batasher Buro, Ratul envisions two possible futures for his country and the planet during a nightly magical adventure. In the first possible future, Ratul sees the worst. There he gets to know how fossil fuels from factories are causing air pollution, how the ice of Antarctica is melting and lastly, how Marshall Island and most of Bangladesh can vanish into water. When Ratul gets scared after watching everything, Batasher Buro comforts him by saying “Don’t despair, Ratul. This is all in the future. And, we can change our future, can’t we?”
When Ratul gets to see the bright future, he gets happier as it shows a prosperous Bangladesh. In this future imposition of additional taxes on fossil fuels and subsidies for renewable energy sources like solar panels and windmills have created new jobs and made the country soft, green, and livable once again. Batasher Buro says “Every person on earth can change this beloved planet.” When Ratul asks how he replies by saying that “This is your planet. You have to find the answer, Ratul.”
Even though Bangladesh is exceptionally vulnerable to the climate crisis, as many environmentalists call it today, there is a lack of awareness about it amongst general Bangladeshis. The film educates through Ratul what we should do today to save our tomorrow. Ratul, upon learning about climate change and global warming during his magical journey, embarks on a climate action movement in Bangladesh that later spreads around the world, distinguishing Bangladesh as a climate champion on the global stage. This film was given a strong message about the adverse effects of fossil fuels and climate change.
Once you start watching ‘Tomorrow’, you will wonder if it was really made in Bangladesh after seeing its overall content and high-quality animation. Mohammad Shihab Uddin, the director of ‘Tomorrow’, told Prothom Alo English Online that, “Children nowadays are used to watching Disney-Pixar animated films. If our work didn’t meet the high-quality animation style, it could have been easily rejected by the children. By keeping this in our mind, I and my team worked day and night just to be sure it has the highest quality until they were satisfied with the end results.”
When asked who he wants to thank for this great achievement, Mohammad Shihab Uddin said that, “I would like to thank my whole team (artists from Cycore Studios) and Murad Abrar, the CEO of the studio for their hard work for all these years and mainly the Kazi Farms Group for CSR of Kazi Media. Isn’t it great how they thought about creating climate change awareness without thinking about loss or profit?
The entrepreneur-climate activist duo Kazi Zeeshan Hasan and Kazi Zahin Hasan always worked about the world environment but when they wanted ‘Tomorrow’ to turn into an animation by funding TK 10 million, it was breathtaking. With ‘Tomorrow’, now even a 5-year-old kid can understand what is going on in this animation and ask about what happened to the baby penguin from the first scene who experiences the melting of ice in the north struggling to stay afloat.
Climate change is a very serious issue not only in Bangladesh but in the whole world. Environment experts said about 700,000 people in Bangladesh become refugees every year due to the natural disasters which are said to be intensifying with climate change like flash floods, cyclones, storms, increasing incidents of lightning strikes, and landslides due to the rise in global warming. According to the Environmental Justice Foundation, Bangladesh may lose approximately 11% of its land with a projected 50 cm rise in sea level by 2050, affecting an estimated 15 million people living in its low-lying coastal regions.
People in the coastal district of Satkhira are already migrating to different places because of the rising salinity. Spreading into non-coastal areas as well and salinity will likely lead to shortages of drinking water. Salinity mainly affects land and water in coastal areas. With the consequence of climate change, it gradually extends towards inland water and soil. The total amount of salinity-affected land in Bangladesh was 83.3 million hectares in 1973 and in the last 35 years, salinity increased around 26 percent in the country according to the country's Soil Resources Development Institute (SRDI).
If the sea level rises by just 1 meter, 70 percent of the Sundarbans will be destroyed. Sundari trees, one of the most extensively found mangrove species, and our pride, Royal Bengal Tigers, will disappear if the salinity continues to rise.
These issues could be much less if renewable energy is used as a primary source of energy in rural areas. Bangladesh is endowed with vast renewable energy resources such as biomass and solar insolation. Besides, hydro and wind power can be considered as potential renewable energy resources. Harnessing these resources appears to be a promising solution for improving the quality of life of rural villagers. Solar energy is the best potential source of renewable energy; however, because it requires vast amounts of land we should invent things to boost mega solar power plant installation in a small area of land and raise the fossil fuel price.
The world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent in 2030 to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. There has been some progress but it's not nearly fast enough. We are still a long way from being able to provide affordable and clean energy for all. Raising fuel prices is, of course, very challenging but doing nothing will pose far greater challenges.
We have only one planet. Now, do we care enough to save it from destruction in the future? Let’s all be like Ratul and save our planet.
Rumaiysa M Rahman is a 10th grader at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, Dhaka