Noted directors on Bangladesh’s ‘Rehana Maryam Noor’ making it to Cannes
Director Abdullah Mohammad Saad's second feature film "Rehana Maryam Noor" has been officially selected in the Un Certain Regard section of the 74th Cannes Film Festival.
Written and edited by Saad, this is the first Bangladeshi film to have been officially selected at the prestigious festival. Previously, the late director Tareque Masud's "Matir Moyna" was screened at the Director's Fortnight segment of the 55th Cannes.
The premise of Saad's film revolves around a college teacher, Rehana, who single-handedly wages a fight for justice on behalf of her daughter and one of her students. Rajib Mohajan, Sydul Haque Khandaker, Adnan Habib co-produced the movie.
"Rehana Maryam Noor" was also invited to the Cannes Film Festival in 2020. However, since last year's festival was held virtually without any categories, the film's team decided to back out.
"When we submitted the film for a second time at Cannes, we followed all the procedures yet again. It is very rare for one film to be selected twice for such a prestigious festival," says Rajib Mohajan.
Berlin-based sales agent Films Boutique will represent worldwide rights for "Rehana Maryam Noor".
On June 3, the Official Selection of the 74th Festival de Cannes was presented by Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux at the UGC Normandie in Paris.
The news quickly started making rounds on social media. People did not shy away from singing praises of the film's crew and cast members. Noted directors shared their thoughts on this historic achievement for Bangladesh, with us.
"I have known Saad from the time that he was assisting filmmaker Wahid Tarek," shares Amitabh Reza Chowdhury. "He is a hardworking and dedicated man. He was also initially involved with my film, 'Rickshaw Girl'. That is when I saw him working closely. He is one of my favourite directors."
Khelna Chobi's internationally acclaimed film "Live from Dhaka" (2016) was Saad's directorial debut, which won the Best Actor and Best Director awards at the Singapore International Film Festival and has been screened at various international film festivals around the world.
"I am not personally acquainted with Saad, but I am proud of him. I watched his film, 'Live from Dhaka', and found his style to be unique. He is meant for a global audience," says director Adnan Al Rajeev.
Noted director Ashfaque Nipun is proud of the facts that Saad and him are from Chittagong, and both of them came to Dhaka to make films. "Saad has proved that we do not need to have years of experience for a tremendous achievement. While many Bangladeshi films are being held back by policymakers and various other obstacles, Saad got this breakthrough at such a young age," he adds. "I am also happy that my friend, Kazi Sami Hasan, is a part of this film."
"Rehana Maryam Noor" has an ensemble cast of Azmeri Haque Badhon, Afia Tabassum Borno, Afia Zahin, Kazi Sami Hasan, and Tuhin Tajimul, among others.