The 13th international short and independent film festival, featuring around 200 short and independent films from 40 countries, kicked off on Thursday at Bangladesh National Museum amid colour and festivity.
Organised by Bangladesh Short Film Forum, the biannual festival will also feature memorial lecture and attendance of many noted local and foreign filmmakers.
The festival has been dedicated to recently demised artist Qayyum Chowdhury.
The eight-day festival will be held in three main venues- Shawkat Osman auditorium of Central Public Library and Music, main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum and Dance Centre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Some of the screenings, however, will be held at Jagannath University, Independent University and Russian Cultural Centre.
All the films, 30 local and 170 foreign, will compete in two major categories-documentary and fiction; while the Asian entries will also compete for a Netpac Jury Award, which will be given for the first time. Along with these awards, a lifetime achievement award called Hiralal Sen Smarak Sammanana will be given to a veteran filmmaker.
Noted Indian film personality Aruna Basudev has been invited as the keynote speaker of the Alamgir Kabir memorial lecture, which will be held on December 9. Renowned Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal and other filmmakers and critics from different countries are expected to attend the festival.
On Thursday, finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith inaugurated the festival, in presence of Kesang Lama, Nepalese documentary maker; Sargei Anashkin, Russian film critic; Afrida Hussain, Indian filmmaker; Nasiruddin Yousuff, chairman of festival committee; Tareq Mahmud, festival director; Manjare Hasin Murad, chairman of Bangladesh Short Film Forum and many others.
On the inaugural day two short films were screened at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum. They were Iraqi filmmaker Sahim Omar Kalifa’s Bagdad Messi and Indian maker Afrida Hussain’s Pony and Me.