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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Live from the Conference In 19th Dhaka International Film festival

Day 2 At The Conference In 19th Dhaka International Film festival (16th Jan to 24th Jan).

By Bijaya Jena

The 19th Dhaka International Film Festival has a section dedicated to Women in the competition category. This year many filmmakers from abroad participated virtually on sessions for Women in Cinema. One of the topics for the 2nd day, 18th January was how social media is helping women to participate in filmmaking and film viewing.

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Nisha Shrestha, an actor, filmmaker and festival director of Yala International Film Festival from Nepal was the one to present her keynote paper on the afore mentioned topic. Sadia Khalid (Editor of Show Time, Dhaka Tribune), filmmaker Shamim Akhtar (Bangladeshi filmmaker), Bijaya Jena (National award winning Indian filmmaker and actress), and Professor Kishwar Kamal (Chairperson of Dhaka International Film Festival) participated in the session.

 

Shrestha spoke about the Nepalese moviegoers and how lately 51% of the viewers constitute women. She elaborated how women were not depicted properly in films and the way Nepalese cinema suffered during the Mao movement for a decade during 1996 to 2006. She also touched upon the casting couch actresses face. Then she focused on the advent of smartphones and how things are improving. Older generations of women too are learning how to use technology and with the easy access of YouTube are making videos and short films themselves. She said how TikTok videos are getting popular and women are making their own videos.

 

Professor Kishwar Kamal explained that family support is very important for a woman’s achievement in this field of art. Shamim Akhter added that even during the Lumiere brothers and Salvador Dali’s time, women were in the forefront.

 

Bijaya Jena was previously on the jury in this section in 2018 and was a panel speaker in 2018 and 2019. She gave examples of Nati Binodini who defied the society to become a famous actress and earned the respect of the great saint Ramkrishna Paramhansa in 1880. But all of this wouldn’t have been possible without the patronage of a rich admirer. Creative women need the patronage of the state to achieve anything in the fields of art or cinema.

Jena went on to add how videos about storytelling and the technical aspect of filmmaking is helping young aspiring filmmakers, out of whom many are women. But we need the government’s patronage and allocation of funds dedicated for women. Quite recently, the Kerala government allocated 410,000 USD per annum for female filmmakers.

 

Festival Director, Ahmed Muztaba Zamal mentioned about the subsidy of Maharashtra and Karnataka, which has boosted the regional film industry. Jena continued that Karnataka is offering more subsidies to literature based films which thereby promotes literature. She mentioned the 2020 Afghani film - HAVA, MARYAM, AYESHA, which was given the top prize in Women’s section in Herat Women’s Film Festival, Afghanistan where she was a juror. This film was also promoted by Angelina Jolie on social media.Many low budget filmmakers are also promoting their films on social media  by creating memes and posting on tweeter,Instagram and TikTok . Like Dhaka International Film Festival, women’s film festivals funded by Culture Ministry by most countries are giving a platform for women’s voices to be heard on important issues in films as well as textual format

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