Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tareque and Catherine Masud at Cannes 2008

The Daily Star reports today that Tareque and Catherine Masud will attend the Cannes film festival this year.

Filmmakers Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud have been invited to the 61st Cannes Film Festival 2008 (May 15-25) to take part in the 40th anniversary celebrations of the "Directors' Fortnight" section of the festival, says a press release.

Their film Matir Moina premiered at Cannes in 2002. It was the opening film of the Fortnight, and was awarded with the International Critics' Prize as 'Best Film' in the section.


At Cannes Tareque and Catherine Masud will be in talks with several European co-producers and distributors in connection with their current project, a film set against the backdrop of the partition of Bengal in 1947. The French Embassy and the France-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFB) have also extended generous support to make the Masuds' trip to Cannes a success.

A new Masud film!?! This is great news. I'm particularly interested to see their interpretation of the 1947 partition. Many Bangla films center on the 1971 liberation war (and rightly so), but one must look back to the 1947 partition to begin to understand the context of 1971.

I would also encourage bideshis interested in the history of the 1947 partition to watch Deepa Mehta's film Earth. This is a Hindi film and actually takes place in the west (specifically, Lahore). But, while not a film about Bengal, the film does incorporate some important points about communalism and community.

I'm certainly looking forward to a new film by the Masud team. Both Matir Moina and Ontarjatra are excellent. I'm also glad to see that Bangladeshi cinema is getting recognized at such a prestigious festival. Hopefully this will lead to more attention on a sadly overlooked goldmine.

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