Bangladeshi director Abdullah Mohammad Saad has teamed with Singaporean producer Jeremy Chua on drama “I See Waves,” an Asian Project Market selection. Produced by Chua’s Potocol, the film follows a tormented medical professor who finds her definitions of justice tested after she witnesses a sexual assault.
“I have a lot of friends who went to private medical schools and kept hearing a lot of stories from them,” Saad told Variety. “Some of them stayed with me, especially this harassment incident.”
Joining the project as co-producer is Bangladesh’s Rajiv Mohajan, a journalist who has also worked as an assistant director on eminent filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s “Television,” which closed Busan in 2012, and “Third Person Singular Number” (2009).
The team has raised $45,000, which includes $10,000 in development money from Busan’s Asian Cinema Fund, of the $250,000 budget. “Our strategy is to split the budget into 40% private equity and 60% soft funds,” says Chua. The project’s team is targeting Bangladeshi funds and Asian investors this year and will approach European funds in 2019.
Pre-production is set for July with a view to commencing principal photography in August or September 2019.
Saad’s debut feature, “Live From Dhaka,” was in competition at the 2016 Singapore film festival where it won best director and best actor for Mostofa Monwar. Saad met Chua at that festival. Chua set up Potocol in 2014. Chua co-wrote and co-produced 2016’s “A Yellow Bird,” directed by K. Rajagopal, which played at the Cannes critics week and was a Camera D’Or nominee. He also produced Lav Diaz’s “A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery” that won the Alfred Bauer award at Berlin in 2016, and Liang Ying’s “A Family Tour,” which was in competition for Locarno’s Golden Leopard in 2018 and is screening at Busan.