Already a renowned name in the Bangladesh film industry, Tauquir Ahmed has earned international repute as well for making thought-provoking films. With a powerful acting legacy, this actor-turned-director has made a special niche in the scene for his directorial prowess.
Recently The Daily Sun, a sister concern of the Daily Kalerkantho, caught up with this director to know more about him and beyond:
Which one is your favourite- acting or direction?
“I enjoy both. You see, acting is a challenging job. While pursuing my career as an actor my infatuation to direction grew up. Then I started preparing myself to be a director. Before that, I have worked in theatres and at that time my interest in direction grew further. So, I started studying the things related to direction and at the same time, I completed my diploma from New York Film Academy in 2002. After returning from there I made ‘Joyjatra’ in 2004. Later on, I went on to make other films such as ‘Rupkothar Golpo’, ‘Daruchini Dwip’ and ‘Oggatonama’. However, both are challenging and I try to give my best shot while directing a film and even while acting in a role.”
The films directed by you are quite different from mainstream commercial films and this is one of the reasons why your films are not commercially so successful in that sense. As a director what does motivate you to keep making such films despite financial shock?
“Well, sometimes I feel frustrated for that but at the same time, I feel that there should be enough space in a society for doing something different. Most importantly a film is an example of art. My films are intended to be a serious artistic work and they are made primarily for aesthetic reasons rather than commercial profit. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want my films to be commercially successful. I believe that a film can play a significant role in a society and contribute as well to developing a good sense among the audience. Moreover, some films stand the test of time and become classics. For example- ‘Joyjatra’ is screened in the months of March and December. Well, I have no problem with the commercial films but other kinds of films should also reach the mass audience.”
Don’t you think that the movie-goers also need to develop a good sense of refined taste as far as selection of film is concerned?
“The people who were leading the film industry in our country were more conscious about money-making rather than thinking about the taste of the audience. That’s why when the degeneration of films began in our country, only the factor of doing business was taken into consideration adopting different unfair means. Unfortunately, they could not even do business fully. On top of that, obscene films were made resulting in deterioration of audiences’ taste. It is also true that we cannot always expect that mass audience can evaluate an art film properly. But we could also persuade the mass audience to watch different kinds of films as well so that they could realize that art films or films that are different from the so-called commercial ones are also related to their lives.”
Some of your films have contended in the international film festivals and achieved several prizes as well. How are our films evaluated in the international arena?
“To be frank, Bengali films are not still very familiar in the international scene. So, whenever we take part in an international fest, it means we have gone one step further. But we cannot yet participate in any of the grand festivals, so we will have to keep trying. And I believe that our youths will work more diligently and create an impression for Bengali films in the international level.”
If you want to represent your film in an intl. fest, you should make something different from so-called commercial films. Again commercial films cannot make it to the fest. Don’t you think that this is a paradoxical situation?
“Most of the time directors of the commercial films follow a definite format. Your intention as a director is important in this regard. If your intention is to make a profit, then you will go for a formatted film. But if your aim is to work with a fresh idea, then that film does not get success commercially. It clearly indicates that there is a gap. Most probably the distributors are failing to take such films to the mass audience or as directors, we are failing to cater to the demand of mass audience. However, a change is going on now. Some people are trying to promote films made from different angles. So, if we can keep up the good works, I think we will be able to allure the mass audience.”
Say something about your upcoming film ‘Haldaa’
“The film is set against the backdrop of the life around the river Halda located in Chittagong. Halda is the largest natural fish production site in the country. But owing to river erosions and illegal grabbing of river areas this place is losing its natural breed. So, our story is basically about river and woman. We are torturing both rivers and women. But both of these are our source of life. By being abusive against these two elements we are, in turn, endangering ourselves. The plot of our film will revolve around these things.”