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Bangabandhu: Shyam Benegal’s Indo-Bangladesh Biopic of Mujibur Rahman Goes on Floors

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Shyam Benegal

Shyam Benegal, the National Award-winning filmmaker, has started work on his new film titled Bangabandhu.

The Indo-Bangladesh project went on floors in Mumbai on Thursday.

Benegal’s biopic on the life of the first president and later, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was announced on January 16 at the 51st edition of the ongoing International Film Festival of India held in Goa by Union Home Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar.

The film is part of the centenary celebrations of Rahman.

Born in 1920, Rahman was a Bangladeshi political leader and the pioneer behind the independence of erstwhile East Pakistan. The founding father of Bangladesh, Rahman is also referred to as Bangabandhu or ‘the friend of Bengal’ and Jatir Jonok or ‘father of the nation’.

According to reports, Bangladeshi film and television actor Arifin Shuvoo will be essaying the role of Rahman. Actor Nusrat Imrose Tisha will portray the role of Rahman’s wife, Sheikh Fazilatunnesa, while Nusraat Faria will be playing the role of Sheikh Hasina, Rahman’s daughter and the present Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Atul Tiwari and Shama Zaidi have written the screenplay, while Shantanu Moitra has composed music for the film.

The Memorandum of Undertaking for the production of the film was signed in January 2020, between India’s National Film Development Corporation and the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation.

The film was supposed to go on floors from March 2020 in Bangladesh but had to be delayed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The first phase of filming will now take place for 100 days at Mumbai’s Film City and the second phase of shooting will be held in Bangladesh.

On January 14, a co-production agreement was signed in the presence of Javadekar and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohammad H Mahmud, according to the Press Bureau of India.

Benegal’s film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2004) was screened on Saturday at the film festival on the occasion of the freedom fighter’s 125th birth anniversary.

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