Abu Shahed Emon
Bangladesh. 2014. 120 min
Like Moses on the Nile, an infant floats along the river, adopted in turn by Miraj, Karim, Sajib, each who abandon the boy at various stages of his life. From innocent to gangster, Jalal’s journey proves he is truly a child of the river.
The first story begins with Miraj, who rescues an abandoned baby from the river and raises him, calling him Jalal. However, after a series of misfortunes the villagers considered the baby to be a curse on their village. Poor Miraj has to abandon the baby yet back in the river again.
The second story starts off with the nine-year-old Jalal who lives as a dependent of a large landowner, Karim, who desperately needs a baby to keep up his prestige informant of the villagers. As time passed by Karim’s Newly married wife was unable to conceive and eventually Jalal was bizarrely considered as a cause of the couple’s infertility problem, by the clever Shaman hired by Karim. Jalal was thrown back in the river again.
In the third story we see Nineteen-year-old Jalal works under a gang leader and budding politician named Sajib, who has kidnapped and impregnated Shila. He makes Jalal keep an eye on her, but Shila dies during childbirth. Afraid that this child would affect his reputation and influence the result of the upcoming election, Sajib orders Jalal to throw the baby in the river.
These three stories strangely connect and flow together as one. Through these uniquely linked stories, Abu Shahed Emon tackles a lot of social issues in Bangladesh including superstition, politically motivated corruption and women’s rights.
ABU SHAHED EMON
Abu Shahed Emon is a young Bangladeshi independent filmmaker, who graduated in Psychology from the University of Dhaka. His interest in filmmaking stems from his active involvement in the Dhaka University Film Society Movement, which later on led him to make several short films, documentaries and TV fictions, which have been acclaimed both at home, and abroad. In 2007, Emon studied Communication and Photography at University of Wisconsin.
In 2011, Emon received the prestigious Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) provided by the Busan International Film Festival for his project ‘The Tale of a Policeman’. The Asian Project Market (APM) later on selected the same project, 2011 where the Goteborg International Film Festival (GIFF) awarded it as one of the “Best Pitching” project. ‘The Tale of a Policeman’ also made it to the top 20 projects list by the Beijing International Film Festival 2012’s film market and was a runner up in the International Pitching Competition.
Emon’s short film, The Container, was selected in the 17th Busan International Film Festival, 2012. The Container was also awarded the BFC&SHOCS Scholarship Fund for finalizing its completion. Emon has recently completed his debut feature film project, Jalal’s Story, which was selected in the 19th Busan International Film Festival 2014. . This debut feature has also been selected by the Bangladeshi Oscar committee for representing Bangladesh in the 88th Academy Awards in the foreign language film Category in 2016.
- 19th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) 2014
Winner – Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) For Post-Production 2014
2. 7th Jaipur International Film Festival 2015, India
Winner – Best Debut Director
3. 19th AVANCA International Film Festival 2015, Portugal
Winner- Best Feature Film and Best Actor Mosharraf Karim
4. 20th Kerala International Film Festival 2015, India
Winner- Silver Crow Pheasant Award for Best Debut Director
5. 12th Dhaka International Film Festival 2016, Bangladesh
Winner-Special Jury Mention for Best Directing
6 Best Cinematography & Best Original Score, SAARC Film Festival 2016