The Hyderabad Film Club, in collaboration with the Federation of Film Societies of India, has organised the second Bangladesh Film Festival in the city at Sri Sarathi Studios in Ameerpet.
The five-day festival, showcasing seven critically acclaimed ‘Dhallywood’ (a portmanteau of ‘Dhaka’ and ‘Hollywood’) films, concluded on Wednesday.
Most of the handpicked films, like Meherjaan (2007) and Transformation (2008), are based on themes like Bangladesh’s liberation war, mythological narratives and the country’s rural locale.
The audience lauded the conceptualisation of the films, well aware that most Bangladeshi films are commercial in nature.
Senior film analysts present at the festival found the Hindu-Muslim convergence in these films innovative and remarkable. They found both the India’s Bangla films and Bangladeshi films quite similar, given the common literature they draw from, as also the clothing and occupational choices of the characters in the films.
Abhishek Banerjee, a freelancer in IT services from West Bengal and based in Hyderabad, offered an insight into the cultural dichotomy of the erstwhile Bengal saying, “Bangladeshi Bangla is different from the kind spoken here, but their films appeal to me as much as the classics do. The feel is rather close to home.”
On Telugu films
Speaking of Telugu films, the audience collectively felt that commercialism plagued the industry, despite great technical qualities in place. One of them, A.S. Narayana, felt it needed to rethink on innovation and creativity, citing examples of films like Midhunam (2012) and Devasthanam (2012) that could bring it close to positive criticism, similar to the ones shown at the film festival.
The Bangladeshi film industry has been criticised in the past decade for producing substandard films. However, it is festivals like these that remind one of the existence of non-commercial films that bring home international awards.