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18 July 2024

‘Shikolbaha’ premieres at Shanghai Film Festival

Artainment Reporter

Published: 09:16, 20 June 2024

‘Shikolbaha’ premieres at Shanghai Film Festival

Photo: Collected

The Shanghai Film Art Centre was abuzz last Sunday night with the world premiere of "Shikolbaha" (Silence of the Seashell), the latest film from acclaimed director Kamar Ahmad Simon. 

Securing a prestigious spot in the main competition for the Golden Goblet award at one of Asia's premier film festivals, this event marked a significant milestone for Bangladeshi cinema. Director Kamar Ahmad Simon, producer Sara Afreen, and actress Fauzia Karim Anu attended the festival in Shanghai, representing the film and the burgeoning film industry of Bangladesh.

Before the premiere, Kamar, Sara, and Anu walked the red carpet at China's oldest film festival as part of the main competition lineup. Following the screening on Sunday night (June 16), they participated in a Q&A session with the audience.
In addition to the premiere, the team will hold a press conference to discuss the film.
This year, more than 3,700 films from 105 countries were submitted for Shanghai screenings. "Shikolbaha" is among 14 films selected for the main competition, along with entries from Spain, Argentina, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Iran.

Anu's Eid morning started with a pleasant surprise after the premiere. She woke up to a call from the reception at the Shanghai Crowne Plaza Hotel, delivering a bouquet of roses, a crown, and a card from her "number one fan."
Reflecting on her experience, Anu said, "Having my debut film's world premiere in Shanghai's main competition on the eve of Eid with a packed audience was surreal. Waking up to roses on Eid morning was an indescribable feeling."
"Shikolbaha" is a joint production between Germany's Weydemann Bros, one of Europe's most prestigious film production companies, and Bangladesh's Studio Beginning. 

In 2014, the screenplay of this film, then titled "Shongkho Dhoni", was selected for La Fabrique Cinéma de l'Institut français at the Cannes Film Festival. This project earned Kamar consecutive selections for Berlin Film Festival's prestigious grant and the World Cinema Fund.

Additionally, "Shikolbaha" won the Gothenburg Film Festival's script grant and a national film grant in Bangladesh.

The jury president for this year's Golden Goblet competition is Vietnamese-born filmmaker Tran Anh Hung.
Expressing her feelings about the premiere, producer Sara Afreen said, "We embraced the invitation to compete in Asia's largest festival. We've been trying to tell our own stories our own way since 'Shunte Ki Pao!'"

Newcomer Fauzia Karim Anu, who plays the central character Ruba in "Shikolbaha", shared her excitement, stating, "It's an incredible feeling to have my first film in the main competition at Shanghai. My perception of shooting completely changed on set. It was like a semester course."

"Interestingly, Kamar bhai and Sara apa never dictated how my character should be; instead, they helped me discover Ruba myself," she added.

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