The 16th edition of Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) has begun.
The nine-day long celebration of movies from across the globe will continue till January 20.
On Friday, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith inaugurated the festival at Bangladesh National Museum (BNM) in the capital.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam addressed the inaugural function as special guests with festival arrange committee chairman Kishowar Kamal in the chair.
Ahmed Mujtaba Jamal, director of DIFF and committee member M Hamid also spoke at the inauguration ceremony among others.
Rainbow Film Society has organized the festival with the assistance of foreign ministry.
Noted Indian actress-filmmaker Aparna Sen and director Madhurima Sinha attended the press meet on the first day of the festival.
This year, the festival will have screening 216 films from 64 countries including Bangladesh under several sections included Asian Competition, Retrospective, Bangladesh Panorama, Cinema of the World, Children’s Films, Spiritual Films, Women Filmmakers, and Short and Independent Films.
A total of 15 films from different parts of Asia are competing in the Asian Competition, where a five-member international jury will award prizes in six categories. The films will be screened at the main auditorium of BNM and Public Library Auditorium.
The retrospective section this year will feature films by two French women directors – Julie Bertuccelli and C,line Sciamma. Some seven films by the filmmakers will be screened at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka (AFD).
The Bangladesh Panorama section has been re-instated to this year’s festival, as a representation of mainstream Bangladeshi cinema. A FIPRESCI jury will award the best film and best director in this category. The films will be screened at public library, and include titles such as “Swatta”, “Bhuban Majhi”, “Halda” and “Khacha”.
The Cinema of the World section will feature 41 contemporary films from across the world. The best film, adjudged by public vote, will receive certificate and crest. The films will be screened at Main Auditorium of BNM, Public Library, AFD and Star Cineplex.
The Children’s Films section will feature 11 films, which will be screened at BNM Main Auditorium and Public Library Auditorium. Children with their parents can see the films for free, while there will be arrangements for underprivileged children to watch the films too. The best film in this section will receive the Best Juvenile Audience Badal Rahman Award.
The Spiritual Films section will showcase films about religion, tolerance and humane values. The venue for this section will be the Russian Cultural Section.
The Women Filmmakers’ section will host more than 50 full and short-length films, at the Sufia Kamal Auditorium of BNM. Awards will be given to the best feature and best documentary films in the section.
The Short and Independent Films section will have about 52 short and indie features from Bangladesh and abroad. The films, which will be screened at the Sufia Kamal Auditorium (BNM), will be judged by a five-member jury.
A total of 95 foreign filmmakers are attending this year’s festival.
The festival’s other programmes include the fourth International Women Filmmakers’ Conference at AFD from January 13-14, the first Asian Film Critics Assembly (organised by International Film Critics’ Association of Bangladesh – IFCAB and supported by FIPRESCI) from January 15-16 at the La Vinci Hotel, and press meets from January 15-19 at the Public Library seminar room from 4pm every day.