Bangladesh-India to jointly produce Bangabandhu biopic


After almost ten years of the government led by Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh and India have agreed to produce a film based on the life and works of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier revealed this in 2017 and it is learnt that the film will be released throughout Bangladesh and Indian on the birth centenary of the father of the nation of Bangladesh in 2020.

Praising Bangabandhu’s unparallel personality and leadership Modi said, “His life, struggle and contribution to the creation of Bangladesh will continue to inspire future generations.”

Marking the Golden Jubilee Year of Bangladesh’s independence, a documentary on Bangladesh’s War of Liberation jointly produced by Bangladesh and India will also be released in 2021. Acclaimed Indian director Shyam Benegal has been selected to make the biopic. Earlier, India suggested Bangladesh the names of three of its top directors—Shyam Benegal, Goutam Ghosh and Kauskhik Ganguly–for making the film. A three-member expert panel from Bangladesh will help Benegal make the film. The shooting of the film will start after the family members of Bangabandhu (Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sheikh Rehana, and others) approve the script. Shyam Benegal is a celebrated film director in India who has received the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

State minister for information ministry, Tarana Halim said, they selected Benegal as he earlier made a film on the life of Indian independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose. “We’ve selected him giving priority to his work.”

On April 8, 2017, Bangladesh and India agreed to jointly produce a film based on the life and works of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and a documentary on Bangladesh’s War of Liberation.

In 2009, weeks after Awami League came to power through a landslide victory, London-based self-exiled Bangladeshi columnist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury hurriedly made an announcement of making the biopic on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and he named Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, who would play the role of Mujib in the film. Chowdhury also declared that the issue has already been discussed with Amitabh Bachchan. As this news got substantial attention in the Bangladeshi and Indian media, Amitabh Bachchan quickly gave a statement saying he had never been approached by anyone for any of such biopic nor he is aware of either any project undertaken by anyone.

Amitabh Bachchan’s statement had put Bangladesh government into serious discomfort as the matter is very sensitive. Later it was revealed that Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury was hired by an ex-Colonel of Bangladesh Army, Shahid Uddin Khan for giving this announcement and Colonel Shahid pledged of producing the biopic. It may be mentioned here that, Colonel Shahid Uddin Khan along with his wife and two daughters went to the United Kingdom in 2009 with a hefty amount of black money and had invested the amount for buying immigrant status. He runs a company named Zumana Investment & Properties Limited in the UK.

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Bangladesh-India to jointly produce Bangabandhu biopic

By: S Kumar Deka Read time: 8 min