Shahiduzzaman Selim, one of the most talented actors in Bangladesh, has become a household name through his performances on television, movies and on stage over the past three decades. He has won numerous accolades including the National Film Award and was recently elected as the president of the Bangladeshi television actors’ association, Obhinoy Shilpi Shongho. To talk about his latest achievement, future plans with the organisation and much more, The Daily Star caught up with the actor for a chat.
It was a dream for a select few artistes, including yourself, to create the platform – Obhinoy Shilpi Shongho. Today, you are the president of the well-established association. How does it feel?
Around 20 years ago, a few of us dreamt of setting up an association that would bring together all television actors. That very association has now reached such a reputable stage. Even though I was not in any governing position for all these years, I worked throughout the entire duration from the back end. Now I believe that I can lead from the front. My fellow actors have given me immense love and support and elected me to this position. I want to work hard and reward them for all they have given me.
What are the primary things on your agenda as the president?
See, there is a certain anxiety that is overcoming the television industry. We need strict professionalism within our structures to aid in eradicating that anxiety in our work process. I want to work to instill that professionalism in people within the industry and to help engage a larger audience with our works. It is imperative to abide by certain rules and regulations to do good work.
Which rules and regulations are you specifically referring to?
For example, artistes must reach their respective sets on time so that shooting can start on time. There must be contracts in place to ensure that there is a clear exchange of work hours for sufficient remuneration. Work hours are specified in every profession. It should be no different for actors. Acting needs to be established as a respectable full-time profession and abiding by these rules will contribute towards that.
The term is only for two years. Do you think it will be possible to achieve all of it by then?
The previous committee has already laid out the foundation. We are taking further steps forward and will continue to do our best with collective help from all the member artistes. Subsequently, the next committee will pick up where we leave off, and strive for more. It is an evolving process.
Today is the inauguration ceremony for the newly elected committee for Obhinoy Shilpi Shongho. How are preparations unfolding so far?
We had divided up committees to prepare for today’s inauguration ceremony. Everyone is working diligently to make the event a success. It is quite evident that us television actors are a big family and the support I am receiving from everyone is clear proof of that.