A director’s 20 year wait to realise his dreams

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Muhammad Quayum’s debut directorial movie, “Kura Pokkhir Shunne Ura” (The Golden Wings of Watercocks) depicts the tale of marginalised peasants and farmers, who have to survive in the unpredictable haor areas of Bangladesh.

The movie focuses on the young farmer, Sultan, who dreams of harvesting his own paddy field. He comes to the haor area to work for an elderly man, whose son passed away—leaving behind his wife and children. He slowly becomes close with the widow—who he marries—and her children, amidst the chaos of floods and erosions. A personal tragedy moves the harrowing tale forward, resulting in Sultan having to leave everything which is dear to him behind.

Recently, the director arranged a special premiere of the film at Star Cineplex, where audiences were in awe of the raw picturization of the struggles in the haor areas. The film will be released tomorrow and will continue running till November 11 at only Star Cineplex’s Bashundhara City branch. Two screenings will be available, one at 11 am and another at 4:30 pm.

In an interview with Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star, Muhammad Quayum discussed his struggles and how difficult it was for him to ensure that the film was screened to an audience.

“Our movie doesn’t have any entertainment aspect or star-studded item songs or anything. Our film showcases the hardships of the marginalised people in the haor areas. We faced a lot of hardship while shooting the film, including food ration and transportation issues. In order to shoot the monsoon cycle of the haor areas, we had to shoot for two and a half year to capture the scene,” said the director.

When asked about his favourite scene from the movie, Quayum talked about some of the emotional scenes, which will touch the hearts of the audience.

“There is this one scene, where a toddler drowns in the water. Subsequently, we see how death of a little child creates waves of emotions across the whole area. Another scene, which depicts the hopelessness of farmers, when the flash-flood washes away all the crops they have been trying to cultivate. Here, there is a serious emotional scene when the farmer holds in his hands the crops left behind and cries in tears over his lost hopes. These are the scenes where the audiences will surely feel overwhelmed with emotions and tears,” said Quayum.

Cinema hall owners are not too eager to showcase independent films like “The Golden Wings of Watercocks”, as they don’t cater to mass audiences. Muhammad Quayum believes that owners are simply looking for commercial gain, as they have invested a lot in the business and so they must make a profit.

“Most of the cinema halls are privately owned, as they require a large sum of money to be invested in them. So, they have to make a profitable business. They haven’t opened a charity, where they will be willing to showcase movies which caters to specific audiences. There is a vast difference of opinions between people who want to do business and those who want to create movies with social messages. In Kolkata, there is a cinema hall called Nandan film centre, where movies rejected by cinema halls are showcased. We need such facilities in Bangladesh, as well the support of the government, to ensure venues where creative movies like ours can be showcased,” added Quayum.

The director had to wait almost 20 years, to finally raise enough money to create his dream project. He didn’t have any financiers or producers who would back up his film.

When asked about why he didn’t opt to crowd-fund this movie, he said, “Crowd-funding isn’t an easy process. While some are able to get finance easily, others face difficulty when collecting money. People with connections in filmmaking have a better chance of raising funds through crowd-funding. I am not a reputed filmmaker. Thus, it is likely I would not receive the finance for my film. Also, I really didn’t want to beg for money from anyone else. I wanted to make my own film, with my own money.”

Courtecy: The Daily Star

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