Film reels, heavy camera and the silver screen are now being challenged by the new buzz in the world of cinema. It is time that we recognise and get used to the silicon screen. Mobile phones are now being designed in ways which are ideal for any filmmaker to capture the desired visual instantly. Filmmaking is no more a sophist's game, and there is no excuse for filmmakers anymore.
If you thought mobile phones were only good for calling and browsing, then you might be wrong. Pocket films are gaining popularity worldwide. Since the screenings of these films are generally online or festival based, the opportunity is open for all. In case of Bangladesh, the opportunity was recognised and implemented by Mohammad Shazzad Hossain, a full-time faculty and the advisor of CinemaScope (a film apprenticeship programme) of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. Leading a bunch of budding filmmakers is often a challenge, but, he has been handling the task for over 5 years now.
CinemaScope Mobile Film Competition was Shazzad Hossain's brain child, which he spread among the students. With about 30 apprentices, CinemaScope now stands as the pioneer of hosting international inter-university mobile film competition in Bangladesh. They call it DIMFF (Dhaka International Mobile Film Festival). The response from all over the world has been quite humbling. Over 115 mobile films from 35 different countries participated in this festival. The competition category of the festival was won by young filmmaker Senthamizhan Arunachalam Manjula from India for his debut film 'Vilambal'. In the previous year, the winning title was received by Arif Arman Badol from Bangladesh for his debut film “Chit no Vicche Ikko Din”.
Mobile films have created a unique genre. It would be unfair to think that it is only the amateur or debutant filmmakers who are attracted to this genre. Many professional filmmakers are also opting to grab the opportunity and enter the festivals. It is not to say that, filmmaking is now easy, it is only to make a point that the arrangement that was needed before with heavy cameras and expensive gadgets are now being reduced to just a cell phone. Since Bangladesh has already started the voyage, let us hope the journey takes the country's name to different global stages.