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Bangladesh Turns on ‘Television’ for Oscar Race

Light drama has rated well at world's festivals

LONDON — A selection committee formed by the Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies has chosen helmer Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s Bengali-language “Television” as the country’s entry in the Academy Awards’ foreign-language film category.

Produced by Bangladeshi shingle Chabial with German co-producers, the film follows events on an island governed by an Islamist cleric who bans television, but who is challenged when the community’s lone Hindu family buys a TV set.

In 2012, “Television” played at the Cinemanila fest in the Philippines, closed the Busan fest, and won a Muhr AsiaAfrica Special Mention at the Dubai fest.

“The film has traveled around the world. On its way, it was well received by a varied audience. Now it is representing Bangladesh at the 86th Oscars. I hope a few Asian titles find place in the shortlist this year,” Farooki told Variety.

The Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies appears to be a unified body this year. In 2012, the Federation split into two factions with each group submitting a different film, resulting in no film being accepted as the country’s official entry.

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