This year the Cannes Film Festival will be special for our film industry as Bangladeshi filmmaker Abdullah Mohammad Saad's 'Rehana Maryam Noor' has been selected to be screened under the 'Un Certain Regard' section at the 74th edition of the festival.
Written and directed by Saad, the cast of the film includes Azmeri Haque Badhon, Afia Zahin, Kazi Sami Hasan and Tuhin Tajimul, among others. Story of the film revolves around a medical college teacher, Rehana Maryam Noor, who happens to witness an unfortunate incident on her way home. She decides to fight the system, going against all odds.
Badhon plays the lead role of 'Rehana' in the film.
During a conversation with The Business Standard at the director's office, Badhon said, "We finished the film towards the end of 2019, but we were working on it for at least two to three years prior to that. Director Saad was on the lead in every pre-production phase as well. We had to concentrate on rehearsals before we began filming. The entire film was shot at Cumilla Eastern Medical College. We had plans to submit the film at Cannes last year, but due to the pandemic, we could not."
Since the news came out on Thursday, netizens and film enthusiasts have expressed joy over it as the achievements of the film might bring a positive impact on the local film industry.
Badhon walked down the memory lane and recalled, "My character is very deep and I am lucky to have played it. Sometimes I would film one scene in a day, because those scenes were both physically and mentally demanding. We were compelled to pack up for the day. However, I still have not watched the final production."
She said, "I found connections with the character, and I believe many people will be able to connect with Rehana."
"After acting in this film, I have become more careful about choosing a role. From now on, I will focus on the characters. Saad's film-making approach is very distinguished which changes any actor's perspectives in terms of acting and character selection process."
About the director, Badhon added, "He is brilliant and very hard-working. He practices his art in an organised manner. He does not like to be in the limelight; he focuses on his craft instead. I have become a part of history because of him, I am really proud of that. This is an outcome of the hard work of each and every member of the cast and crew."
Saad's directorial debut 'Live From Dhaka' won the Best Actor and Best Director awards at the Singapore International Film Festival and was screened at various international film festivals in 2016.
Rajib Mohajan, Sydul Haque Khandaker, and Adnan Habib co-produced the film 'Rehana Maryam Noor'. Cinematographer Tuhin Tamijul shot the film.
Co-producer Rajib said, "The film is centered around Rehana Maryam Noor who is a mother, a daughter and a teacher. When she witnesses injustice, she can not stay quiet. She becomes vocal and tries to find justice for her student, breaking the barriers."
This year the Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to take place from July 6 to July 17.
Un Certain Regard, which means 'from another angle' is a segment of the Cannes Film Festival's official selection. It is run at the Debussy theater, parallel to the competition for the Palme d'Or.
Introduced in 1978 by Gilles Jacob, around 20 films that are made following non-traditional stories are usually screened under this segment.
Previously, in 2004, luminaire Bangladeshi director Tareque Masud's 'Matir Moyna' was screened at the Director's Fortnight segment of the 55 th Cannes.
Other segments of this year's festival are 'In Competition,' 'Out of Competition,''Midnight Screenings,' 'Cannes Premiere,' and 'Special Screenings.'