Emerging Bangladeshi film-maker Suborna Senjutee Tushee is one of the winners at the 14th Eurasia International Film Festival that was announced on Friday.Tushee won the Eurasia Grand Prix in the Short Films Competition category for her film “Meenalap (Fish Monologue).”
She is the first film-maker from the Indian subcontinent to have received the highly prestigious award since it was established in 1998.
Tushee, a graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, shared her reaction with the Dhaka Tribune Showtime.
“I was in disbelief when I learnt about having received the prize. I was content with just being able to screen my film on this platform,” she said.
She could not attend the awards ceremony because she did not have enough time after learning that her film had been selected for the festival.
“This was the first time that a Bangladeshi film had been selected to compete in this festival,” Tushee said. “Thirty-six films were selected for the Grand Prix in the Short Films Competition section.”
The story “Meenalap” revolves around a Bengali couple who migrate to India and have a child, secluded from the alien society around them.
Tushee named the film “Meenalap” because the protagonists in her film are like fish, who migrate to lay their eggs in freshwater.
The director spent seven years in India to complete her studies at the FTII. However, during those years, she did not participate in any film festivals or in the local film industry, as is the norm with the FTII students.
Her time in India is overshadowed by a tragic accident that killed her husband and put her in a coma. She also had to go through six surgeries to recover.
Now that she has recovered from the trauma, Tushee has devoted her time to film-making. She is currently working on three projects: a feature film, an archaeological documentary, and a short film. She hopes to finish two of these projects by the end of the year.