The 18th Dhaka International Film Festival ended at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum in the capital’s Shahbagh area on Sunday.
Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud, the chief guest of the concluding ceremony, announced the closer of the festival by echoing the slogan of the organisers, ‘better films and better audiences’.The slogan of this year’s DIFF, chosen by organisers Rainbow Film Society, was ‘Better Films, Better Audience, Better Society’.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid also attended the ceremony as Special Guest. The program was presided over by festival executive committee member M Hamid.
A total of 220 films were screened at the festival with participation from 74 countries in competitive categories spanning “Asian Cinema” “Retrospective ,” “Bangladesh Panorama ,” “Cinema of the World,” “Children’s Films,” “Spiritual Films,” “Women Filmmakers ” and “Short and Independent Films”.
Iranian film Castle of Dreams (Ghasr- e-Shirin), directed by Reza Mirkarimi won the Best Film Awards and Best Director in the Asian Cinema category.
The other awards were presented to the winners at the ceremony. The Badal Rahman Award for Best Children’s Film went to Loknat (Director Mohammadreza Haji Gholami, Iran); Audience Choice Award in the category Cinema of the World was won by prominent Indian-Bengali filmmaker Anjan Dutt for his debut participation in DIFF, Finally Bhalobasha. The prestigious Best Film Award by FIPRESCI Jury in Bangladesh Panorama Section was awarded to No Dorai, directed by Taneem Rahman Angshu.
Women filmmakers around the world received awards in three main categories with a special mention for each- Russian filmmaker Daria Binevskaya received Best Short Film Award in Short Fiction Category for My Name is Petya and Special Mention Award in this category went to Mexican filmmaker Sandra Concepción Reynoso Estrada for ‘Video Tape’. Special Mention in Documentary Category was awarded to Mirjam Leuze (Canada, Germany) for her documentary The Whale and The Raven; while Asian filmmaker Dina Naser received Best Documentary Award for Tiny Souls.Special Mention in Best Feature Film Category went to Iranian filmmaker Maryam Bahrololumi for her film Patio, while Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Imielska received the Best Feature Film Award for Wszystko Dla Mojej Matki (All For My Mother).
Iranian movie The Feast of the Goat, directed by Saeed Zamanian won Special Mention in Short Fiction Category under the Spiritual Film Section. Iranian filmmaker Yaser Talebi’s documentary Beloved won as the Best Documentary in the Spiritual Section, while Chinese filmmaker Yesir’s film Fanshujiaomi (Koali & Rice) won the award as the Best Feature Film in the Spiritual section.
The films were screened from 11 to 19 January at several prominent venues in the city.
The festival Director and President of Rainbow Film Society Ahmed Mostofa Jamal announced that the 19th edition of DIFF will be held on January 16-24, 2021 and would be dedicated to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, marking the occasion of his birth centenary as Mujib Year, although it is officially being celebrated this year.