Doob now at Moscow International Film Festival for competition
Bangladesh’s renowned director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki's much-talked and criticized about film “Doob” (“No Bed of Roses”) may not have sat well with Bangladesh's censor board authorities, but it is beginning to make waves internationally already. The film, which has been cast by one of India's most internationally-soughtactor Irrfan Khan and Bangladeshi popular actor Tisha, has been already selected for the main competition of the 39th edition of the prestigious Moscow International Film Festival, set to begin June 22.
The announcement came from the first official press conference of the festival on Thursday at the StandArt Hotel in Moscow, where the festival's artistic director Kirill Razlogov and other top officials were present.
“Doob”, a joint venture between Bangladesh's Jaaz Multimedia and India's Eskay Movies, became the epicenter of a whirlwind controversy when in November last year, an Indian renowned and popular newspaper Anadabazar reported that the film was based on iconic Bangladeshi novelist, the late Humayun Ahmed's life. Humayun's widow Meher Afroz Shaon expressed anxiety over the matter, but Farooki summarily went down the claims that it is a biopic.
The Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) in February issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the film, but after Shaon( a popular actress in Bangladesh) sent a message to the Censor Board Chairman about the film portraying Humayun Ahmed in bad light, the NOC was suspended by BFDC just the day after on grounds of a letter from the information ministry.
Farooki told the reporters that the film is now at the Censor Board for getting permission to release, so there has been some progress. “In my film, I tell stories of people and emotions of this region of the world. Films have an appeal to a broader audience, but it is saddening that there is a delay in reaching the film to this audience because of a strange and unbelievable complaint,” Farooki said. “I have faith in the Bangladesh government that they will not do anything to hinder freedom of expression, and the film will be cleared soon,” he said.
About being nominated at the festival, Farooki said “Many filmmakers have influenced my filmmaking and Andrei Tarkovsky is one of them. It is very emotional for me to have my film go the land that he came from.”
The first 11 films in the main competition were revealed at the press conference, including films from China, Denmark, Spain, Argentina, Finland, Japan, South Korea, hosts Russia and a German/Austrian joint venture. “Doob” was also labeled a Bangladesh/India joint venture on the list.