Ashraf Shishir’s Gariwala wins 8 international prizes

July 5, 2015

Ashraf Shishir’s Gariwala wins 8 international prizesDirector Ashraf Shishir’s debut film Gariwala has won eight international awards after having been screened at 37 film festivals in 16 countries. The latest feather in his cap was the Best Film Award that he won at the 7th Picnic Film Festival in Spain recently. In an interview with New Age, the director talked about the success of the film and how it came into being. ‘Gariwala’s continued success proves that our films also have a global currency and can compete with the films of any country,’ said Shishir, ascribing the film’s success to the universal issues dealt with in the film. ‘The love and struggle of a mother and her children is the central theme of the film. This is a kind of theme that has a universal appeal regardless of the country where it’s shown. And this is why the film was accepted globally,’ said Shishir. Gariwala, with a run-time of 86 minutes, features a mother and her two sons whose fight against poverty sets in motion events that would change their life forever.
Earlier, the film received ‘Narrative Feature, Honourable Mention Award’ at the 7th Trenton Film Festival, USA. It also won a screenplay award at the North Carolina Film Festival in the USA. Gariwala also bagged the best supporting actor award and the best child artiste award at the carnival.
‘I actually made Gariwala as a short film but later converted it into a feature-length film. Though I received a government grant for the short, the amount was not enough to handle the cost of conversion and so I had to use my personal savings to complete the project,’ said Shishir.
The director also expounded on the challenges he faced to arrange for its commercial release. ‘The distributors and owners of cinemas did not agree to show the film as it was not a typical Dahllywood commercial film. I tried but couldn’t change their mind in favour of a release,’ he said.
‘So I decided not to negotiate any further and sent it to foreign festivals, who warmly accepted it. However, plans are afoot to release the film in Bangladesh within a few months.’
Shishir is going ahead with a plan for his next project, a feature film named Amra Ekti Cinema Banabo. In this regard, he said, ‘I am not going to disclose details of the film at this moment. But I hope it will also be as loved as its predecessor.’

-With New Age input

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