130 Artists Sign Statement Demanding Unconditional Release Of ‘Saturday Afternoon’


Whether it is film, fiction, music or any other cultural activity, in recent times, the cultural arena has faced various obstacles, which has made it difficult to practice and produce art freely. .

These concerns were brought to the forefront of the general public, when the Film Censor Board of Bangladesh halted the release of Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s film, “Saturday Afternoon”. The censorship board’s justification for stopping the film’s release was because they alleged it would “damage the country’s image”.

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In reaction to this, 130 cultural activists and artists issued a statement expressing their concerns about the censorship board that halted the release of “Saturday Afternoon”.

Cultural figures from all sectors across the country have united in support of Farooki’s “Saturday Afternoon”. The group applied to the censorship board to license the film and allow it to be released for Bangladeshi audiences.

A joint statement, released earlier today (Tuesday), read: “Multiple obstacles are placed in the way of the arts and culture sector, particularly in the case of film, fiction and music. These multifaceted obstacles worry us. . This concern is heightened when we see that our friend, colleague and filmmaker, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki had his film “Saturday Afternoon” blocked in the censorship office for more than three and a half years, without any valid reasoning.”

The memo also added: “Recently, we learned that an appeal committee meeting has been called for November 17. In this regard, we draw the attention of all authorities and persons concerned.

“Many of us have watched the film and don’t understand why it is being treated this way. So we share the feelings of frustration and anguish the filmmaker is having. At a time when the rest of the world is discussing how whose idea of ​​Censorship is old and archaic, we always prevent a famous filmmaker from releasing his film due to censorship, obscurity and unknown reasons,” the statement continued.

Regarding the role of the authorities, the statement adds: “As representatives of the civil and artistic community of this country, we would like to say – with our wisdom and consideration – that this protracted process saddens and angers us. , making us wonder about the role of the authorities.”

These 130 artists have come together because they believe that the situation around “Saturday Afternoon” is not simply a matter of preventing the release of a film. “It is the reality of the failure to grasp the overall national and global perspective. At the same time, the situation is also an indication of the regressive approach taken by the state and the narrow-minded approach of all concerned authorities, which is undesirable. . Such hostile behavior by the authorities is painful to see,” the statement noted.

The statement also referred to the spirit of liberation war and how Bangladesh should fight against oppression. “Let’s not forget the country we created 50 years ago, fighting for our rights as Bangladeshis. This fundamental spirit is against all forms of oppression. an identity crisis, the film “Saturday Afternoon” continues to be screened and awarded at various major film festivals around the world. Seeing the unfair treatment this film suffers in our own country makes us feel like we live like third-class citizens in our own country,” the statement added.

With some hope for positive change, all signatories to the statement called for “Saturday Afternoon” to be released. “We have not yet lost faith and trust in your common sense and wisdom. Our job is not to struggle in the streets, but to continue making art and helping to build a Bangladesh progressive. We demand the unconditional release of ‘Saturday Afternoon,'” the statement concluded.

The statement was signed by eminent filmmaker Nasir Uddin Yusuff, cultural personalities Mamunur Rashid, Raisul Islam Asad, Sara Zaker, Afzal Hossain, Tariq Anam Khan, Shahiduzzaman Selim, theater personality Syed Jamil Ahmed, filmmaker Syed Salahuddin Zaki , Catherine Masud, Vice President of Bangladesh Film Director’s Association Chotku Ahmed, filmmaker Morshedul Islam, artists Dhali Al Mamoon, Shamim Akhter, Munira Morshed Munni, Munem Wasif, novelist and journalist

Anisul Hoque, actors Fazlur Rahman Babu, Zahid Hasan. Tauquir Ahmed, producers Syed Gausul Alam, filmmaker Gias Uddin Selim, Zahidur Rahim Anjan, Nurul Alam Atique, Trapa Majumder, Enamul Karim Nirjhar, Golam Rabbani Biplob, Piplu R Khan, Amitabh Reza Chowdhury, Abdullah Mohammad Saad, Kamar Ahmed Saimon, Sara Afrin , Rubaiyat Hossain, Shihab Shaheen, Jasim Ahmed, Golam Haider Kisloo, Journalist Nur Safa Julhaj, Producer Mushfiqur Rahman, Theater Practitioner Mohsina Akhter, Secretary General, Bangladesh Film Director’s Association Shahin Sumon, President, Actor’s Equity, Ahsan Habib Nasim, Secretary General Actor’s Equity Rawnak Hasan, actors Chanchal Chowdhury, Jaya Ahsan, Aupee Karim, Intekhab Dinar, musicians Anusheh Anadil, Shibu Kumer Shill, directors Tarek Wahid, Mejbaur Rahman Sumon, Masud Hasan Ujjal, Kachi Khondoker, photographer Kamrul Hasan Khosru, director N Rashed Chowdhury , President of the Short Film Forum Jahirul Islam Kachi, Secretary General of the Short Film Forum, Rakibur Rahman, Tarek Ahmed of Doclab Bangladesh, Syed Imran Ho ssain Kiramani, photographer Golam Mawla Nabir, Sheikh Rajibul Islam, Barkat Hossain Palash, Tahsin Rahman, sound engineer Ripon Nath, actors Zakia Bari Mamo, Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Azmeri Haque Badhon, Sushoma Sarker, Iresh Zaker, Ashutosh Sujon, Saraf Ahmed Zibon, Ashfaque Nipun, Redoan Rony, Iftekhar Ahmed Fahmi, Tanim Noor, MM Kamal Raz, Mahmudul Islam, Humayra Bilkis, Krishnendu Chattyopadhyay, Adnan Al Rajeev, Abu Shahed Emon, Bijon Imtiaz, Arifur Rahman, Raihan Rafi, Nuhash Humayun, Syed Ahmed Shawki, Saleh Sobhan Auneem, Aman Biswas, Ishtiaque Ahmed Rubel, Golam Kibria Farooki, Milon Bhattacharjee, Dilshad Shimul, Afzal Hossain Munna, Musafir Syed, Golam Muktadir Shaan, Imraul Rafat, Emel Haque, RB Pritom, Tanim Parvez, Mabrur Rashid Bannah, Atique Zaman, Joyonto Rozario, Pallab Biswas, Picklu Chowdhury, Niamul Mukta, Shahid Un Nabi, Hasan Morshed, AB Rokon, Rubayet Mahmud, Majedul Haque Rana, Setu Arif, Ariq Anam Khan, Kajal Arefin Ome, Samiur Rahman, Momin Bis was, Nazmul Nabin, Fahad Khan, Abdullam Muqtadir, Mahmudul Hasan Adnan, Belayet Hossain Mamun, Sarder Saniyat Hossain, Esha Yusuff, Mim Rashid, Ahmed Hasan Sunny, Shihab Nurun Nabi, Tareq Babul, Shahidul Islam, costume designers Farzana Sun and Edila Farid Torino.

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