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First Look: Hostage Drama ‘Saturday Afternoon’ by Bangladesh’s Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (EXCLUSIVE)

Prominent Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (“No Bed Of Roses”) has completed principal photography on hostage drama “Saturday Afternoon,” which he shot in a single take. Variety has been given an exclusive first look image.

The Bengali-and-English-language pic takes its cue from the brutal terrorist attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka which took place on a quiet Saturday afternoon and left more than 20 people dead.

In a statement Farooki called the pic “a miniature of international hate politics” and also “an anatomy of terror,” in which he “wanted to explore the roots of modern day terrorism through social, political, and gender implications.” The director added that he chose to shoot “Saturday Afternoon” in a single take to better focus on “the unity of the story.”

The international ensemble cast of “Saturday Afternoon” comprises Bangladeshi actress and Dhaka native Nusrat Imroze Tisha (“Holud Bani”), Palestinian actor Eyad Hourani (“Omar”) and Indian actor Parambrata Chatterjee (“Kahaani”).

Cinematography is by Aziz Zhambakiyev, who won the 2013 Berlin Silver Bear for Artistic Achievement for Kazakh drama “Harmony Lessons.” He worked on “Saturday Afternoon” with Russian lenser Valerii Petrov (“Stalingrad,” “The Duellist”) serving as Steadicam operator.

“Saturday Afternoon,” which is Farooki’s seventh feature, is a Bangladesh-India-Germany co-production produced by Abdul Aziz for Jaaz Multimedia and by Farooki for Chabial, Bangladesh, in tandem with Anna Katchko of Germany’s Tandem Production.

No sales agent is yet attached.

Farooki is the most visible face of Bangladeshi cinema internationally. His “Television” won the grand jury prize at the Asia Pacific Screen awards; “No Bed of Roses” — aka “Doob: No Bed of Roses” — which stars Indian star Irrfan Khan (“Inferno,” “Life of Pi”) world premiered to strong critical praise at the Shanghai Film Festival last year. Based on a celebrity scandal that shook conservative Bangladesh society the pic was released amid controversy in Bangladesh and India.

Before shooting the film Farooki told Variety that he intended “Saturday Afternoon” to be the first installment in his “Identity” trilogy. The second would be “No Land’s Man,” which has secured grants from India’s Film Bazaar and the Asia Pacific Screen Academy-Motion Picture Assn. film fund. The third is planned to be on the Rohingya ethnic group, who are facing ethnic extinction in Myanmar.

 

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