January 31, 2023


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Mustafa Saryar Farooqui’s ‘Saturday Afternoon’ Released

3 min read

After a four-year battle with the Bangladesh Film Censor Board, Bangladeshi writer Mustafa Saryar Faruqi’s “Shanibar Bickel” has finally been released.

The Bengali-and-English language film takes its cue from the 2016 brutal terrorist attack on Dhaka’s Holy Artisan Bakery, which took place on a quiet Saturday afternoon and killed more than 20 people. It had notable festival performances, winning prizes in Fukuoka, Moscow and Vesole.

However, Bangladesh Film Censor Board banned the film. Nizamul Kabir, then vice chairman of the Censor Board, told AFP, “The board did not allow the screening of the movie in the country or abroad, as it would disturb internal security and also tarnish the country’s global image.”

Faruqi started a long campaign for the film’s release. Meanwhile, he has also produced his next film “No Land’s Man”. The effort gained momentum when it emerged that Hansal Mehta’s “Faraz”, also based on the Holy Artisan Bakery attack, will release across the border in India on February 3.

The board finally approved the release of the film on Saturday.

“We have just heard that the Appellate Board has decided to clear the picture with some minor ‘claim denials’. We are waiting for the official letter from the board,” Farooqui said diversity. “I feel relieved. It has been a long and draining four years. For any filmmaker, wasting four years of life is a painful experience. I hope no filmmaker goes through this experience. At the same time, I thank Film Alliance of Bangladesh, audience and well wishers for standing by. You made me feel like I’m not alone. Artists are usually lonely. So it warmed my heart a lot. We will now try our best to release the film on or before February 3.”

Singapore-based film marketing and distribution firm Continental Entertainment Pte. Ltd. (CEPL) holds the global distribution rights for “Saturday Afternoon” and plans to release it in Bangladesh once the dates are finalized. Discussions are also underway with streaming platforms.

“One of the most breathtaking narratives on a heart-wrenching afternoon, CEPL knew this was a film we had to bring across our borders when the end credits rolled on the first show a few months ago. We are extremely happy that it has found its freedom on home ground as well and we now share this story. can take its own people to a global audience with greater cohesion,” said Shreyashi Sengupta, CEO, Southeast Asia, CEPL. diversity. “This is one of the most important stories ever to be seen by audiences, in the times we live in, as well as one of the best stories from a filmmaker as accomplished as Farooqui.”

The international ensemble of “Saturday Afternoon” stars Bangladesh’s Nusrat Imroz Tisha (“Hulud Bani”), Palestine’s Yad Hourani (“Baghdad Central”) and India’s Parambrat Chatterjee (“Aranyak”).

The one-shot film’s cinematography is by Aziz Zhambakiev, who won the 2013 Berlin Silver Bear for Artistic Achievement for the Kazakh drama “Harmony Lessons.”

The film is a Bangladesh-India-Germany co-production produced by Faruqi for Chabial Bangladesh in association with Abdul Aziz for Jazz Multimedia and Anna Kachko of Germany’s Tandem Productions.

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