Friday, 21 January, 2022

3rd edition of Dhaka DocLab underway

Dhaka DocLab, an international documentary co-production project market in Bangladesh which also serves workshops  for South Asian filmmakers, inaugurated its 3rd edition on Monday, August 26 at the Liberation War Museum, Agargaon in the capital.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam inaugurated the six-day event as the chief guest. Dhaka DocLab’s director Tareq Ahmed, trustee of Liberation War Museum Mofidul Haque and Founder/President of Documentary Resource Initiative, Kolkata and Indian director, editor and cinematographer Nilotpal Majumdar attended the event as special guests and expressed their opinion on this initiative through their speeches.

Dhaka DocLab’s Chairman and prominent cultural activist Nasir Uddin Yousuf chaired the event.

British documentary filmmaker Emma Davie, managing director of Ventana-Film GmbH Hans Robert Eisenhauer, delegate of Taskovski Films Eva Perez, Chinese producer Pei Tianyi and other international guests were honored in the event by the guests. Representing the Master Class instructors, Emma Davie shared her opinion and welcomed everyone to the workshop which is going to be conducted from Tuesday.

Minister Shahriar appreciated the initiative and invited filmmakers to make more films on the historically significant events of Bangladesh, such as the 15th August assassination and murder of Bangabandhu along with his family.

DocLab’s Chairman Nasir Uddin Yousuf briefed about DocLab’s initiative to organize workshops on documentary filmmaking all over Bangladesh and informed that it has already covered few divisional cities.

The six-day event has been categorized in promising segments, such as mentoring of the participants' projects, film screenings, one-on-one meetings, pitching of the projects and more. Various renowned names from the local and international documentary film circuit are scheduled to attend during the occasion, including twenty renowned documentary makers, producers, television broadcasters, film distributors, and representatives of film financing companies.

The eight instructors who will take different seminars and Master Classes during these six days are: Audrius Stonys, filmmaker, Lithuania; Ryota Kotani, executive producer, NHK, Japan; Karolina Lidin, consultant, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Denmark; Nilotpal Majumdar, chairman, Docedge Kolkata, India; Jean Paul F Pauwels, managing director, CONGOO bvba, Belgium; Emil Joseph, Editor, UK; Emma Davie, filmmaker, Edinburgh College of Art, UK; and Boris Mitic, filmmaker, Dribbling Pictures Ltd, Serbia.

‘A Mandolin in Exile’ by Rafiqul Anowar (Bangladesh), ‘Back to Home’ - Upali Gamlath (Sri Lanka), ‘Discount Workers‘- Ammar Aziz (Pakistan), ‘Fishfinger Seductions’ - Sarvnik Kaur (India), ‘The Secret Ancestral Village’ - Torsha Banerjee (India), ’Basu's Ecosystem’ - Ekramul Kabir (Bangladesh), ‘Punch Me Hard’ - Biswajit Das (India), ‘Beyond All The Colours’ - Saiful Wadud Helal (Bangladesh/Canada), ‘Murshida’ - Moupia Mukherjee (India), ‘Songs of Sunflower’ - Abid Sarker Shohag (Bangladesh), ‘Outsider’ - Kanishka Sonthalia (India), ‘Wishes of Thimphu’ - Arun Bhattarai (Bhutan), ‘Dolls Don’t Die’ - Ranajit Ray (India), ‘Waiting For Winter’ - Farid Ahmad (Bangladesh), ‘NOC’ - Qazi Krishnakali Islam (Bangladesh), ‘Settled to Displace’ - Ripan Kumar Das (Bangladesh), and ‘Two Daughters and the memory of their Father’ - Shopno Samudra (Bangladesh)- have been the final selected participants. From all these projects, ‘Back to Home’ - Upali Gamlath (Sri Lanka), ‘Discount Workers’ - Ammar Aziz (Pakistan), ‘Punch Me Hard’ - Biswajit Das (India), ‘Wishes of Thimphu’ - Arun Bhattarai (Bhutan), and NOC - Qazi Krishnakali Islam (Bangladesh) are awarded with scholarship support to attend Dhaka DocLab. This scholarship includes round trip air travel, waiver of fees, and accommodation during their stay in Bangladesh as part of the lab. Unfortunately, Ammar Aziz from Pakistan will not be able to attend the event due to visa related issues, according to the organizers.

The inaugural session ended with screening of the documentary film ‘Bridges of Time’, directed by Lithuanian maker Audrius Stonys. He also briefed about the film to the audiences, prior to the screening.

Dhaka Independent Film Network (DIFN) is organizing the 3rd edition of DocLab in this year, which has been organizing the event since 2017. The event will comprise a 4-day mentoring along with a 2-day documentary project pitching sessions. The budget of this six-day-long international workshop is set at Tk 35 lakh. Government and non-governmental organizations, including the Cosmos Foundation, the Bengal Foundation and the Access to Information Project (a2i), along with the Government of Bangladesh are cooperating with this initiative.

The 3rd Edition of Dhaka DocLab will end on 31st August, 2019.