Bangladeshi filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain’s film, Made in Bangladesh is set to see its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIIF), under the Contemporary World Cinema category.
Contemporary World Cinema category of TIFF features narrative films generally made by young directors.
Known as a festival of festivals, TIFF first started out in 1976. Over the years, the festival has become one of the important festivals in the world, regarded as an ideal platform for filmmakers to launch their careers and for their new work to premiere.
Made in Bangladesh is Rubaiyat’s third feature length film, which is co-produced by Bangladesh, France, Denmark and Portugal. The film was financed by France’s CNC fund, Norway’s Sørfond plus, the EU’s Eurimages fund and Denmark’s Danish Film Institute fund.
The film was also financed by Pyramid Films and Pyramid International, the French distributor and international sales agent for the film.
Production phases of the film began on April 17 last year, and were shot in different locations of Dhaka and Gazipur over 36 days.
Rubaiyat told Dhaka Tribune Showtime that she and her team will be flying to Toronto to join the festival. There will be five screenings of her film there including a special screening moderated by a professor at the Toronto University. Four of the screenings will be followed by a Q&A.
The young director champions women empowerment in her films. The production design, sound, editing, cinematography, art direction- were all done by women in this film.
“One of the things I’m proud of about the film is that the all the major departments were headed by women,” she said.
The story of the film revolves around a character named Shimu, who portrays a worker in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector. The character was based on a real woman who helped the team out with dialogues and other important details.
The film also explores how the garments industry of Bangladesh has helped to empower women and provided them socio-economic independence, by depicting the struggles and successes of female RMG workers.
The cast film features Rikita Nandini Shimu, Deepanwita Martin, Mayabe Rahman, Novera Rahman and Parvin Paru in the lead roles, along with Mustafa Monwar, Shatabdi Wadud, Joyraaj, and Momena Chowdhury.
Rubaiyat is a film festival veteran who had been to many major film festivals at different capacities. She went to Cannes Film Festival this year as the producer of Mahde Hasan’s Sand City. She had been to Locarno Open Doors three times and attended the Script Station at Berlinale.
She hopes to do a Bangladesh premier at the Dhaka International Film Festival and get a local distributor later to take her film to the Bangladeshi audience.