This year only two films have been submitted to the Bangladeshi selection committee that chooses the entry that would compete at the 83rd Academy Awards. According to 83rd Oscars Bangladesh Committee, the submitted films are — Khalid Mahmood Mithu’s “Gohine Shobdo” and Khizir Hayat Khan’s “Jaago”.
The selected Bangladeshi film would compete in the Best Foreign Language Film segment. Films from around the globe, except the United States, would compete for the top prize in the segment. Last year, Golam Rabbani Biplob’s “Britter Bairey” represented Bangladesh at the Oscars.
According to the Academy Awards rules, a film must be released in the previous year to be eligible to compete in the segment. Though there were several films released last year, according to the 83rd Oscars Bangladesh Committee, only two films were submitted by the deadline, September 14.
Shah Alam Kiron, filmmaker and one of the members of the selection committee, informed that many of the films could not fulfil the selection requirements, and that is why the respective producers/directors did not submit their films.
“We expected a few more entries. There are some regulations, which some of the films could not live up to,” said Kiron.
When asked about the mainstream FDC-produced films, Kiron said that those films do not have English subtitles, which is a must for a film to be eligible to compete at the Oscars.
One notable film that was not submitted for selection is Mostafa Sarwar Farooki’s “Third Person Singular Number”.
Khizir Hayat’s “Jaago” claims to be the first Bangladeshi feature film entirely on football. The film zooms in on a football match between a Bangladeshi team ‘Comilla Azad Boys,’ and ‘Tripura Eleven’ from India. Ferdous and Bindu play lead roles in the film.
“Gohine Shobdo” is a film about a love affair between two young individuals whose respective backgrounds present a barrier. Emon and Kushum Shikdar play the lead roles.
Both films have attained national recognition and have received acclaim overseas as well.
When the first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929, there was no separate category for foreign language films. Between 1947 and 1955, the Academy presented Special/ Honorary Awards to the best foreign language films released in the United States. For the 1956 (29th) Academy Awards, a competitive Academy Award of Merit, known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, was created for non-English speaking films, and has been given annually since then.
Out of the 62 Awards conferred by the Academy since 1947 to foreign language films, 51 have gone to European films, five to Asian, three to African and three to films from the Americas. The most awarded country is Italy, with 10 Oscars.
The 83rd Academy Awards will be held in February 2011.