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Busan: Helmer Farooki Sets December Shoot for ‘Saturday Afternoon’

Eminent Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki will commence production on Bengali- and English- language film “Saturday Afternoon” in December.

Farooki describes the film as “a thriller where the lives of several people collide on one fateful day.”

Farooki is a Busan Film Festival regular. His “Television” closed the festival in 2012, while his latest, “No Bed of Roses,” starring Irrfan Khan (“Inferno”), is playing in the 2017 A Window on Asian Cinema strand of the festival.

Bangladeshi actress Nusrat Imroze Tisha (“Holud Bani”) is confirmed as one of the leads of “Saturday Afternoon” while Palestinian actor Eyad Hourani is in advanced negotiations. “I read the script and like it. And I am happy that we are gradually going closer to be on board with this really interesting project. The script dissects the world order in a very balanced way,” says Hourani. Casting for the other roles is in progress.

The film is being jointly produced by Abdul Aziz for Jaaz Multimedia, Bangladesh; Shyam Sundar Dey for Greentouch Entertainment, India; and by Farooki for Chabial, Bangladesh. Anna Katchko of Tandem Production, Germany, is on board as co-producer. Katchko previously produced award-winnging south Asian films “Harmony Lesson” and “The Black Hen.” The budget of “Saturday” is $500,000.

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Aziz Zhambakiev, who won the Berlin Silver Bear for “Harmony Lessons,” will be the DP.

“Saturday Afternoon” will be the first in Farooki’s “Identity” trilogy. The second will be “No Land’s Man,” which  has grants from India’s Film Bazaar and the Asia Pacific Screen Academy-Motion Picture Assn. film fund. The third will be on the Rohingya ethnic group, who are facing ethnic extinction in Myanmar.

“Identity seems to be the biggest puzzle now. It can bring you fortune or terror. It no more depends on what you do or did. In this new world order, it depends on who you are, what religion you belong to, what color of skin you have. Depending on this, you might be favored or terrorized,” says Farooki.  “It sounds medieval in this digital age. But our human values are going in completely the opposite direction to our technological achievements.”


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