In December 2002, Stephanie Batailler and Masbaul Talukder, co-directors and co-producers from New York, did a three-week cross country video shoot and promotional tour in Bangladesh.They visited the rural areas of Comilla, Chandpur, Feni and Chittagong, and did a Press conference at the National Press Club of Dhaka.
The two filmmakers have two media projects. Their first one is a feature film entitled UFO in Bangladesh (United Friends Organization,) a touching story of a 10-year-old Bengali boy who–inspired by a Bengali legend–tries to make fortune by selling eggs in his neighborhood.The second media project is a 12-episode documentary series on the beauties of Bangladesh. The two projects which intend to project a positive image of the country to the Western world, were both well received by the press.
Positive Image of Bangladesh (by Qudrat-e-Moula)
There are a lot of positive things about Bangladesh, although the country is usually portrayed by the western media, in general, as the land of poverty.
“We are here to do some projects, including the ongoing film UFO in Bangladesh, Beauties of Bangladesh and the Snake Charmer’s Life”. French-born filmmaker Stephanie Batailler told the Bangladesh Today in an interview. She came to Bangladesh, on a week-long visit last week, along with the Bangladesh-born Masbaul Talukder, mainly for shooting the film UFO in Bangladesh.
UFO (United Friends Organization) in Bangladesh is a feature film on a touching story of a 10-year-old boy, who, inspired by a Bengali legend, will try to make fortune by selling eggs. The story of the film is written and directed by international short-film award winner Masbaul Talukder. Stephanie is working as co-director while Azizul Islam is the production manager of the film.
The team, comprising Stephanie, Talukder and Aziz, visited some places, covering Chandpur, Chittagong, Sonargon an some other parts of Bangladesh as part of their project-work. Meanwhile, they did different projects concerning foreign countries and got the opportunity to do some development projects on Tunisian Volunteer and UNICEF.
“When I heard about Bangladesh – its beauties and traditional strong family-bond – I was inspired by Talukder’s idea on UFO Bangladesh”, Stephanie said, explaining that the idea is very simple & it would help portray Bangladesh positively, and as a result, people in the developed world, English speaking people, in particular, would understand what Bangladesh really is“.
Talking on some spectacular sceneries, experienced by her, in different spots in Bangladesh, Stephanie stated that they have already taken some wonderful shots relating to natural beauties of Bangladesh.
Recapitulating American and French Experience, Stephanie said that it is not very easy to become a film maker for a woman in the developed world. “We the females had to do minors jobs when we had been studying on film in America while the male students used to handle cameras”, she said, expressing satisfaction for getting the opportunity for taking snaps on UFO Bangladesh and other assignments.
Commenting on commoners in Bangladesh, she said people here are very much friendly and cordial. “I being Catholic Christian, was wondered to see that a Muslim woman is teaching in a catholic school when I visited Chandpur”, she said, asserting that I don’t see any fundamentalism in Bangladesh although it’s a Muslim majority country.
Supporting Stephanie’s remark, Talukder said “We have chosen the woman as the central character in our present film to project coexistence of believers of different religion in Bangladesh. The film will be dubbed in English to let English speaking people understand Bangladesh and its people easily. It would also help to efface the misconception about Bangladesh“, he hoped.
Relaying their projects, Talukder informed that they will soon start preliminary work on the series “Beauties of Bangladesh” that would allow people outside Bangladesh to see that the country is rich in natural beauty.
The type of shots we are taking on charming sceneries here would help foreigners to understand its tourism prospect, he observed, saying the films are being produced mainly for National Geographic and popular channels as such.
Dwelling on film production in Bangladesh, Talukder appreciated the cine experts here for working under constraints of fund and technical facilities. He also admitted that some very good short film have already been produced in Bangladesh.
he, however, doesn’t think that the existing facilities are insufficient either for Tele-film or any other production. Explaining the aspect, he said, under the existing NON-LINEAR method of production, you can produce a film only by using a digital camera and a PC.
Meanwhile, some entrepreneurs expressed their interest to work with them and held discussion on the ways and means of establishing a proto-type venue/studio like Hollywood in Bangladesh, Talukder informed, asserting that we are ready to extend all sorts of supports, including technical cooperation and financial assistance.
|Picture caption: Yesterday at the National Press club, Stephanie delivered a speech for the occasion of the shooting of UFO in Bangladesh, a feature film that would be shot in Dhaka’s region.|
In Western countries, the misrepresentation of Bangladesh is not fair! Stephanie
Staff reporter: In her visit to Dhaka, Stephanie Batailler strongly criticized western countries for the misrepresentation of Bangladesh. She also said that Newspapers and Electronic media unfairly mentioned that Bangladesh is supporting Muslim fundamentalists and terrorist groups. She said at the press conference at the National Press club, VIP lounge, that, shooting in Dhaka’s region for the filmmaking of UFO in Bangladesh will brightly focus and show the History, the Tradition and the Culture of Bangladesh to the world.
Not only Stephanie Batailler from New York with Licorne Films Production was there but, Masbaul I Talukder from Embrasure Films was present. He explained in details about the project. They are expecting to start shooting in Dhaka next November (2003) and by November 2004, they will finish the shooting. They think to spend about a million dollar for this project. In the presence of the Information Ministry and Foreign Ministry representatives, they had visited shooting locations in Kachua and Chandpur. They also said that this film will help to show a difference picture of Bangladesh to the Western world. This film, written by Masbaul I. Talukder and Stephanie Batailler, was inspired by Mr. Talukder’s memories of his childhood in his beloved Bangladesh. This film will be co-directed by Mr. Talukder and Mrs. Stephanie Batailler.
The aim of the directors is not to show any negative aspects of Bangladesh. Maybe Bangladesh is a poor, undeveloped country, but, this country is rich in culture, natural beauties and social ties. Most of the world doesn’t have any idea from this good angle. This will show it. Stephanie Batailler said : Since I arrived to Bangladesh on December 2nd 2002, in the last 2 weeks, I have been visited several villages and towns, Comilla, Kachua, Chandpur, Feni and Chittagong. There, I have met hundreds of people, religious people, village people and I have shacked hands with them. UFO in Bangladesh is a 10-year-old Bengali boy interesting and simple story. That boy decides to create with 4 other friends a joint venture called United Friends Organization (UFO). The boy, named Bablu, heard a legend told by his grand-mother, “Cowboy Egg” story. Inspired by the legend, he would try to change his luck and make a fortune by selling eggs. With his friends, he is building a poultry farm located in the center of the neighborhood, which will catch everybody’s attention. In a world of tradition, respect and beauty, Bablu is learning that love, family and friendship are the keys of the real success.
For the making of a feature film two foreign journalists came to Bangladesh.
Mahadi Hassan Palash: Two more foreign journalists came to Bangladesh but this time, to make a feature film on Bangladesh. One is an American citizen, Masbaul I. Talukder, 39, passport n. 112729358, visa n. 6963/02, and the other one is French citizen, Stephanie Batailler, 29, passport n. 98AE04696, visa n. 6964/02.
Both of them came to Bangladesh on December 2nd. Masbaul I. Talukder works for the American National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), a television station, as a broadcast engineer/editor. Except that, he has been also involved with Amitabh Bachan Corporation (India) and the New Delhi Television (India) with several responsibilities. Stephanie Batailler finished her education on filmmaking and by now, she made several short films. She is also involved with several filmmaking companies. For the past 12 years, both of them have been working on a documentary film on Manna Dey from India. She (Stephanie) with Clown Generation and Between 2 Worlds gained a lot of citations.
Under United Friends Organization (UFO) project, these two journalists will make a feature film based on the life of a young boy names Bablu. That boy will change his life by selling eggs. While you will see this boy growing up, the film will show the 21st February, 16 December, 26 March, Bangladesh Politics and Culture.
This film will be made under the banner of Embrasure Film and Licorne Films Production. Both directors told us that they will use a Bhatiali song translated in English but that they will keep the same tune of the original song. The composer of that song will be the famous Indian artist Manna Dey.
While now Western media say that there is a torture of foreign journalists in Bangladesh, Masbaul I. Talukder and Stephanie Batailler were not afraid to come, thus it proves that all information were false.
These two journalists told the reporter that they had trouble getting a visa at the Bangladesh Consulate in the United States of America. The foreign ministry told us that it was because of the present situation and Mr. Talukder and Mrs. Batailler long relationship with India that the ministry had to be extra careful.
The film “UFO in Bangladesh” will show positive aspects of Bangladesh
Staff reporter: American Embrasure Films and Licorne Films Production will make a feature called “UFO in Bangladesh” next year. The shooting will start in November. Yesterday, Tuesday morning, in a press conference they announced that all the shooting will be done in Dhaka area.
The co-directors, Masbaul Talukder and Stephanie Batailler said at the Press conference at the National Press Club, that with this film, they will project a positive image of Bangladesh to the western world. They announced that 10 million dollars will be invested in this film and that, most of it will come from their organization. This film will be finished by the end of November 2004.
In the press conference, they also said that Bangladesh is very rich in cultural tradition, natural beauty and social ties, but the world doesn’t have any idea of it. With this film, UFO in Bangladesh, they (Mr. Talukder and Mrs. Batailler) will try to show it to the world. In the western world, they always picture Bangladesh supports Muslim Fundamentalists and terrorist groups. But this is not right and they will show that message with the film.
The Directors also mentioned that, in the last two weeks, they visited rural areas of Comilla, Chandpur, Feni and Chittagong and, observed the beauty, the potential resources and the culture of Bangladesh that they will show in details in the film.
Press Conference on the filmmaking of UFO in Bangladesh.
Staff reporter: A Press conference was organized for the filmmaking of UFO in Bangladesh. This press conference was held yesterday at 12 noon at the national press club VIP lounge.
Embrasure films and Licorne Films Production announced that they will make a feature film based on a Bangladeshi story. From these organizations, Masbaul I. Talukder and Stephanie Batailler were present.
At the press conference, they said that UFO in Bangladesh film will be shot in English language, All actors and actresses will be Bangladeshis. In this film, the directors are opened to work with TV and film artists of the country.
They (Mr. Talukder and Mrs. Batailler) will start shooting the film next November 2003. They are interested to show the film all around the world. Both filmmakers told us that they had contacted producers from this country and that if any of them are interested in coproducing the film with them, they are also open for it. However, if no Bengali investors are involved in this film, then, it would be considered as an American film! Masbaul Talukder said.
This film will be co-directed by Masbaul Talukder and Stephanie Batailler.