Tauquir Ahmed, one of Bangladesh’s most talented actor-directors, has embarked on his “dream project” of making a biopic on Bengali poet Jibananda Das whose works, like many other doyens of Bengali literature, are household names on both sides of the border.
The project is right now at the level of research into Jibananda’s life and his area of activities starting from his place of birth in Barisal in Bangladesh where he taught English literature in the famous Brajamohan College and covering a range of places including Delhi where he was a teacher in Ramjas College.
“This is a dream project for me. At present, I am working at the research level. I hope to start the film next year,” Ahmed said from Dhaka.
He said he has not yet finalized who will play the role of Jibananda. “I will take a decision on that when the film reaches the production stage.”
According to Ahmed, “This film will focus on the work and life of Jibananada Das. It will not just be a biography or documentation but accumulation of the images and feelings, thus creating a visual poetry.”
Asked where all he plans to shoot the film, he said most of the places like Barisal, Kolkata, Delhi, Bagerhat , Assam and Dhaka phases will be covered but may be in a nonlinear form.
Replying to a question as to what prompted him to make the film on the poet, Ahmed said, “Jibananda always inspired me. This film will be a tribute to him.”
The director said his film production house Nakkhatra Chalacchitra has taken its name from Jibananda’s poem and named many plays inspired by the poet’s work.
“I hope to get the movie done properly and screen it to the places yet unaware of Jibananda’s works,” he said.
But even a veteran actor-director like Ahmed knows how challenging would be his “dream project” acknowledging funds are hard to come by for such work. “Everything is subject to the availability of proper budget,” he said adding this “can really delay the time schedule.”
After studying architecture from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Ahmed secured a diploma from New York Film Academy and had training in direction from Royal Court Theatre, London.
One of the most popular faces on television in Bangladesh, Ahmed has appeared in several tele-plays and a number of feature films including five directed by veteran Tanvir Mokammel before trying his hand in direction. Ahmed directed four feature films including national award-winning “Jaijatra” (2004), based on the liberation war of Bangladesh which fetched him the national award.