Filmmaker Shyam Benegal on Thursday said he is honoured to narrate the story of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through his film Mujib – The Making of a Nation.
A Bangladesh-India co-production, Mujib – The Making of a Nation was screened at the 48th annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Wednesday evening.
The upcoming biographical drama narrates the life story of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first president of Bangladesh and later its prime minister who was assassinated with most of his family in 1975.
Benegal, 88, who was unable to attend the screening, said he was happy to present “Mujib – The Making of a Nation” at the prestigious festival.
“Delighted to be unveiling the film at this prestigious festival. I’m sure the story of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his journey to create the Nation of Bangladesh will echo with the people and communities across the globe. It has been an honour to be able to tell this inspiring story of the making of a nation,” the veteran filmmaker said in a statement.
Mujib – The Making of a Nation is a collaboration between India’s National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC).
Dr Hasan Mahmud, minister of Information & Broadcasting of Bangladesh, said he was brimming with emotions at the screening of the film inspired by the life of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, popularly known as ‘Bangabandhu’, under whose leadership Bangladesh attained freedom in 1971.
“I’m grateful to the team from both countries for being able to portray his journey, his unfathomable love, and supreme sacrifice for the country and its people. Mr Shyam Benegal is missed immensely as he’s not present for the screening,” Mahmud said.
Bangladeshi actor Arifin Shuvoo plays the title role in the film, which also stars Nusrat Imrose and Nusrat Faria in the roles of his wife Renu and Sheikh Hasina, their daughter and the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, respectively.
Shuvoo, who attended the TIFF screening of Mujib – The Making of a Nation, said it was a great experience to view the film alongside the festival crowd.
“The research, the detailing to look like Mujib is seen on screen. I may not be able to put in words what a feeling it is to see the film with an audience. It is an honour to play Bangabandhu in this magnificent biopic and to be here to see the response myself. May Mujib continue to touch our hearts and inspire the world the way he always did,” he said.