Meet Bangladeshi actor Chanchal Chowdhury whose film Hawa is competing in Oscars 2023


Reported By:, Edited By: |Source: IANS |Updated: Dec 16, 2022, 02:14 PM IST

Calcutta: Popular Bangladeshi actor Chanchal Chowdhury, whose Hawa (Wind) is the official entry from Bangladesh for the Oscars, Friday mooted for more free artistic exchanges between India and her neighboring country. Chowdhury said that he is happy that Hawa will be screened commercially in West Bengal theaters from Friday, coinciding with Vijay Diwas, which commemorates India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war. Bangladesh, then part of Pakistan, became an independent country after the war.

“Our films cannot be seen in theaters in Kolkata, your films cannot be seen in cinema halls in Dhaka. When trade exchanges of commodities have been facilitated and literary exchanges have increased, why cannot the same happen for feature films made in Bangladesh and India? ” Chowdhury, who got two Bangladesh National Films Awards for Best Actor in the past, said.

Hawa tells the story of a group of fishermen in the mid-seas who found a beautiful young woman in their net during a voyage in the deep seas. Chowdhury is in the city to attend the 28th Kolkata International Film Festival which was inaugurated on Thursday. The film, directed by Mejbaur Rahman Sumon, will be released on December 30 across several cities in India with English subtitles.

Chowdhury, who earned plaudits for his portrayals in Rupkathar Golpo (Tale of Fantasy), Television, Devi (Goddess), Karagar (Jail) among other fictional works, said “artists from both sides should have more free access to other parts. Can’ t the delay in granting visas be smoothened? The visa issue should be fast-tracked for actors as it creates uncertainty for one before a visit.”

Expressing delight that Hawa is releasing in cinemas in Kolkata, the actor said: “We are happy it is releasing on the Vijay Divas (Victory Day) the day when we came out of the clutches of Pakistan.”

“The release of Hawa on Viay Divas and its journey to Oscars in ‘Best International Feature Film’ category brings double delight to us Hawa which had been released in the US, Singapore and got great response can now be viewed by more people in Kolkata. It had such a wonderful run in the recently concluded Bangladesh Film Festival that the number of shows had to be increased. Hope the larger audience (outside the festival crowd) will embrace the film as well,” Chowdhury added.

The movie has been nominated for the Best International Feature Film category at the 95th Academy Awards which will be held in 2023.

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To another question, he said “This is the beginning. We hope Bengali films – catering to Bengali speaking audiences everywhere – will now be more distributed on the big screen across borders on a bigger scale.”

At a press meet on Wednesday, Director Mejbaur Rahman Sumon, said, “When I was making the film, all of us thought it will have greater acceptance in Kolkata as people there will have more the intellectual connect. You can divide geological frontiers, but you cannot divide people’s minds, dreams and beliefs. After Hawa became such a commercial success in Bangladesh and was backed by Bengalis across the world except for Kolkata, we were eager to get it viewed by the audience here. We tried for months and finally, It happened, and it received a huge response at the recent Bangladesh film festival in Kolkata. When I decided the subject and woven the narratives, little did I know it would touch so many hearts in Bangladesh and elsewhere.”

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