I have been drawing and painting since I was a child. When I was ten a well-known newspaper published several of my drawings in their Weekend Kids Section. And that was it! I knew that I want to to be an artist. I majored in Arts and Design at the O-Level and A-Level. London Examination Board awarded me the World’s Top Scorer Award certified by Cambridge University, UK, for my outstanding achievement in Art and Design Exams. My art was exhibited in the British Council, City College (CCNY-CUNY). My first short film, Hands screened at Harvard University at Girl’s Impact Film Festival. My thesis film for my BFA at CCNY "The God of Small Things” (-which I have written, directed, and produced) was an International collaboration between City College, New York, Lodz Film School, Poland and Manhattan Film Academy, Dubai. The film has won numerous awards and has been exhibited in many film festivals around the world. Among the festivals, Cannes Film Festival, Clermont, Kolkata Film Festival were the most notable ones. The film is now distributed on Amazon Prime.
Back in Bangladesh, I was fascinated by Satyajit Ray’s “Apu Trilogy.” Then I discovered films by Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, and others.
There is a strong connection between fine arts and film. The film is art, the art of moving images. Kurosawa’s technique of blocking and framing and his use of textures (rain, fire, sunlight) resemble the Assemblage Art. When I watch Bergman, I see Rembrandt in every frame. Liv Ullmann’s portrait in “The Silence” is straight off Rembrandt’s painting. Fellini’s 8 1/2 constantly evokes Surrealism. Barry London emulates Hogarth’s paintings. Et cetera.
After getting a M.F.A. in filmmaking, I would continue living in the United States, my new home, but I would like to work--making films--both here as well as in Bengal.
As Elia Kazan put it: “The film director should know the City, ancient and modern, but particularly his city, the one he loves like DeSica loves Naples, Fellini-Rimini, Bergman-his island, Ray Calcutta, Renoir-the French countryside, Clair-the city of Paris. His city, its features, its operation, its sub-structure, its scenes behind the scenes, its functionaries, its police, firefighters, garbage collectors, post office workers, commuters and what they ride, its cathedrals and its whore houses.”
I know Europe and Bengal like any other place on Earth. I know its culture, its people, and its stories. It’s the place where I grew up, at the crossroads of Islam, Christianity, and Hindu. Born in an Islamic country, surrounded by great Mughal architecture. Home schooled in the Qur’an by a personal Mullah. Educated in a private Christian School with the Bible study classes and daily morning prayers. Immersed in the Bengali Hindu literature of Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali Renaissance, the Ramayana, and the world of Satyajit Ray.
Every distinguished national cinema: be it Iranian, Chinese, Polish, or other, has its own unique voice reflecting its culture and people. Bengali cinema was at its best in the neo-realistic art films of Satyajit Ray and Bimol Roy. Since then it has been confused with Bollywood. I might not be the next Ray or Bergman, but with my passion for art and films, and my knowledge of unique and fascinating Bengali stories, I truly believe I can create a new genre of Bengali cinema.
I COVER MY MOUTH WHEN I COUGH,
SO PEOPLE DON'T CATCH MY AWESOMENESS. -Emas Jubaer :-p