Young director Rezwan Shahriar Sumit’s first feature film Nonajoler Kabbo (The Salt in our Waters) won the prestigious Torino Film Lab Audience Design Fund of €45,000. The team has also been invited to take part in TFL’s Audience Design Workshop in September and TFL’s Coming Soon showcase in November where Sumit will get to pitch the film to sales agents, festival programmers and distributors.
TFL received the biggest amount of applications this year and the level of artistic quality was exceptionally high, confirmed the selection committee. The other two projects receiving the fund this year are White Building by Kavich Neang (Cambodia) and El Father Plays Himself by Mo Scarpelli (Italy/United States).
According to a press release from TFL: “These three projects question our relationship to the arts in general and to filmmaking in particular, as well as our role(s) in society – raising the voice of a new generation deeply interested in discussing climate change, migration and new scenarios for the future.”
Nonajoler Kabbo is about courage and resilience in the face of adversities, which “will resonate with audiences in a post-Covid19 world,” the director said. The final cut of the film was delayed for the pandemic. Having only recently completed the sound and colour from Paris, Sumit said the TFL jury were one of the first ones to watch the film.
The film was previously awarded several prestigious funds like the Aide aux cinémas du monde fund worth €80,000 in 2018, Bangladesh National Film Grant in 2017, and a writing grant from Director Spike Lee in 2016. It was a semifinalist in Sundance Screenwriters Lab in 2017 and was also invited to the Film Bazaar Co-Production Market in Goa, India in 2016.
“We were stuck in a limbo for the pandemic,” the director said. “But now with Torino Film Lab as a partner on this journey, we have a fighting chance in getting the film to places where a light of hope is needed the most.”