Lubna Sharmin and Md Abid Mallick, two young filmmakers chosen by International Film Initiative of Bangladesh (IFIB), are set to participate in the Producer's Workshop at Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday.
Under IFIB's 'Dhaka to Cannes' programme, supported by International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA), they will participate in the workshop and meet some of the world's most prominent filmmakers, film executives and industry power brokers.
They were selected by an international jury from a number of applications sent to the website of IFIB by young talented filmmakers of Bangladesh.
The jury comprised of Mary McGuchian, writer/director/producer, Gary Springer, entertainment publicist and Alan Poul, director/producer.
"This initiative will help me succeed as an independent filmmaker and acquire practical knowledge as well as networking skills," said Lubna Sharmin. "Film industry is a place where creativity meets technical skills.The Bangladesh Film Industry will benefit from more people taking part in such activities. Thanks to IEFTA and IFFIB for their joint venture to motivate filmmakers of Bangladesh."
IFIB President Samia Zaman says Cannes Film Festival is a very important gathering of filmmakers from around the world and it celebrates the art of cinema as well as the business of it -- buying, distributing, selling etc.
"After visiting the festival in the last two years, I strongly suggest that every member of Bangladesh's film community should explore Cannes and other film festivals," she adds.
Samia thinks that continuous and sustained and strategic efforts and presence is very necessary to reach out to the global film fraternity.
IFIB aims to make Bangladesh more visible in the world arena through its films that are artistically driven and thematically matured.
By reaching out to world-renowned film festivals, programmers, filmmakers, critics and national and international art, cultural and film bodies, IFIB plans to make Bangladesh cinema known on the global stage.
Asked why Bangladesh was chosen by IEFTA, its president Marco Orsini told UNB that it was Bangladesh that chose them.
"Samia Zaman approached me at a private dinner for the Addis to Cannes event in Monaco describing the perfect storm in Bangladesh for such a programme," he said, adding, "as other organisations begin to give credit to the rich heritage of Bangladesh film and its potential in the international market place, we too saw the abilities to have a positive impact for their film community."
As for what they expect to get out of the Dhaka to Cannes initiative, he said that the IEFTA's goal is 'to increase awareness of filmmakers from Bangladesh to the international film community as well as expand the rolodex of the filmmakers coming to Cannes. We want to empower filmmakers from Bangladesh to be able to compete in a globalised film market."
This is their second such initiative, the first being 'From Addis to Cannes', an initiative which ran for 10 years, where they showcased the untapped talents of Ethiopian filmmakers through a similar process.