For the last seven years, 'Close-up kache ashar golpo' has become a popular name in Bangladesh, during Valentine's Day.
And it has become a ritual for some viewers to sit with family and friends to watch it on several national TV channels at the same time.
Stories are submitted by writers from around the country and the selected ones are portrayed on-screen by renowned filmmakers. As a result, the viewers never fail to see three unique stories each year.
This year, there was Raihan Rafi's 'Othoba premer golpo', based on the short story by Shahnewaz Badhon, followed by Anam Biswas' 'Ek din brishtite bikele' based on Abdullah R Rafi's story and Shankha Das Gupta's 'Shunno theke shuru' based on the story by Reza Us Salam.
This year's theme was love stories, unlike the last two years, which were break-up stories.
'Othoba premer golpo' started with some mesmerising shots in some beautiful spots.
The protagonist Sourav is played by Sayed Zaman Shawon, who helps his father with his business at a phone call store.
Farzana, played by Nafiza Tushi, is a newcomer in the village with whom Sourav fell in love at first sight. They both spent some time together and faced some awkward situations.
It is later revealed that Farzana is not mentally well as she had been betrayed by a former lover. But despite the relationship turmoil shown, the story ended happily.
The story seemed too intense to be included within 25 minutes. If the time limit had been a bit longer, we could have acknowledged the character development, which would have been an essential part of the story.
However, the most satisfying thing to watch was the fantastic cinematography and the costume designs and colour combinations used in the set.
'Ek din brishtite bikele' showcases a guy named Rony, played by Khairul Bashar, who lost his job and now makes his living as a driver in a ride-sharing company.
He met Shruti, played by Mumtahina Chowdhury Toya, who is a costume designer through a ride. It was supposed to be a one-time meeting, but fate kept making them cross each other's paths. It brought them closer, and eventually, Rony fell for Shruti.
Being a costume designer, Shruti belonged to a trending culture, while Rony was a simple guy with old-school thoughts. But they overcame this gap to be closer to each other in the end.
What I loved most about it is that Anam Biswas added narration to this film. It made it more suitable, and I did not feel it was being rushed like the last one. Khairul Bashar acted quite good while Toya could have been a little better, I believe.
Some of the concepts of the scenes were exceptional, for example, that proposal scene in fake rain inside a car during the shooting.
I also loved the use of poems instead of music to indicate the depth of the scene.
'Shunno theke shuru' was another example of scenic beauty that we experienced through the lens. It is a story about a famous writer Rashed Shahriar, played by Tahsan Khan, who hides behind any kind of fame and exposure.
He has social anxiety and he gave up his city life to make a new start among nature. Rebeka, played by Sunerah Kamal, is an enthusiastic young journalist who came down tracking Rashed Shahriar to interview.
The interview was indeed enjoyable to hear, and it was great to watch, too, as the narration of the interview could be heard in the background along with b-roll shots (supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot) of the amazing scenery.
The content they spoke about in the interview changed their perspectives and chain of thoughts on many different things.
When the interview ended, they realised each others' absence, but it was not easy to blend in with each other's lives. It was their biggest challenge to overcome, which they could eventually.
It was the most complete short film among the three shown this year.
Starting with scenery, costumes, cinematography, and production design, including little things like earthenware, everything in the film was aesthetically pleasing.
Some of the scenes were quite innovative such as the comments popping up around Rebeka. The acting was up to the mark by everyone.
The background score did a wonderful job in accompanying the scenic beauty. The script was well-written with a little hint of comedy here and there and quite good use of metaphors.
Overall, this year's 'Close-up kache ashar golpo' focused on the beauty of cinematography in a series, the best we can do in our country, and after watching it, it will inspire you to travel.
The stories were simple yet perfectly depicted this generation's love stories. And no matter how much we want to see exciting or twisting endings, happy endings do make us feel good at heart.