As Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s upcoming film “Doob” (“No Bed of Roses”) begins to get it’s head above the water from censorship turmoil at home, the film is continuing its imposition at major film festivals. After successful showings at the Shanghai International Film Festival and Moscow International Film Festival (where it also won the Kommersant Jury Award), the film has now been invited to the official selection of the 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) this November, at one of the most prestigious film festivals of the region.
Farooki made the disclosure in a brief Facebook post yesterday. He also told The Daily Star that films are submitted to the APSA jury from national committees of all the countries in the Asia Pacific Region (similar to how the Academy Awards has a submission system from all over the globe), but the APSA headquarters can also invite films for the festival at their discretion. The call for “Doob” came from the APSA, and not as a submission sent from Bangladesh, he clarified. The final competition short-list is yet to be announced by the festival authorities, but there is still some time since the festival commences on November 23 in Brisbane, Australia. He remains cautiously optimistic about a final nomination. “Let’s see if we can get a nomination. But it’s very tough as all Asia Pacific country competes with their best films,” he says. But Farooki, one of the foremost torchbearers of Bangladeshi film to world cinema, is no fresher to APSA. His film “Television” won the Jury Grand Prize at the 2013 festival, after being nominated alongside films from the likes of Asghar Farhadi and Wong Kar-wai, and he was a jury member for the festival in 2015 – both incidents a first from Bangladesh.
Starring powerhouse Indian actor Irrfan Khan (who is also co-producing the film alongside Jaaz Multimedia from Bangladesh and Eskay Movies from India), the film was mired in controversy in February this year when its no-objection certificate by Bangladesh’s joint venture film review committee was revoked a day after it was issued. The film was cleared to go to the censor board, and Farooki says they finally received the censor certificate on Saturday. “All I can say about the censor clearance is that the audience will get to see the film exactly as I had wanted to show them,” the director told The Daily Star.
The film, that also stars Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Parno Mitra (from Kolkata, India) and Rokeya Prachi in central roles, will announce its release date within a week or so, Farooki informed, hinting that the release may be within the September-December window.