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‘The Salt in our Waters’ – interview with director Rezwan Shahriar Sumit about his culture conflict film in coastal Bangladesh (video) – Busan preview…

Film heads to Busan International Film Festival (October 21-30) in South Korea and screens there on October 28. It enjoyed its world premiere at the London Film Festival (October 7-18) recently…

SEVERAL films from South Asia are screening at this year’s Busan International Film Festival which ends on Friday next week (October 30).

Among them is ‘The Salt in Our Waters’ – this debut feature by Bangladeshi Rezwan Shahriah Sumit is about two worlds and two cultures that come up against each other, amidst the background of climate change and societal flux.

It chronicles the world of artist ‘Rudro’ (Titas Zia) who creates a studio to work on his sculptures by a coastal village along the Bangladesh coastline – because he wants to be closer to nature and the area his father remembered fondly as a cyclone relief manager many years ago.

Rudro comes up against chairman and local leader (played by Fazlur Rahman Babu) who is suspicious of just what the artist is up to in his studio and when the local fishing catch goes down and changing weather patterns make the fishermens’ lives more difficult, he identifies Rudro as the reason.

Throw in the artist’s – mostly secretive – friendship and nascent romance with Tuni (Tasnova Tammana) and a showdown seems inevitable. caught with Sumit (as he likes to be called) ahead of the film’s screening in Busan on Monday (October 26).

The film recently screened at the London Film Festival and acv was among the first to review it and quite possibly the first!

It will screen in the Window on Asian Cinema section in Busan – alongside ‘The Disciple’ and ‘200 Meters’ which also came to LFF.

Ivan Ayr’s new ‘Meel Pathar’ – gets another screening in this section after enjoying its world premiere in Venice this year.

Also from India and screening in Busan this year is Sanal Kumar Sasidharan whose latest film, ‘A’hr’ appears to be set in the Himalayas and again puts a woman character centre stage. He made huge waves with his 2017 feature, ‘Sexy Durga’ (called such outside India) and debuted in Venice last year with ‘Chola/Shadow of Water’.

Another filmmaker familiar to acv is Ananth Narayan Mahedevan – whose latest feature, ‘Bittersweet’ like ‘Ah’r’ will compete for the Kim Jiseok Award at the festival – and is also part of the Window on Asian Cinema section.

The film heading to Busan is about sugarcane workers being forced into undergoing hysterectomy surgery and is based on a true story.

Last year, acv saw his ‘Mai Ghat – Crime no. 103/2005’ – its lead actor Usha Jadhav won the best female actor award at the Golden Anniversary edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

Also competing for the Kim Jiseok is ‘Drowning in Holy Water’ from Afghanistan & Iran and made by Iranian/Afghan filmmaker Navid Mahmoudi.

In the Window on Asian Cinema section too from India is ‘Captive’ by Suman Mukhopadhyay, about a woman recently released from jail; ‘Where is Pinki’, about a baby that goes missing by Prithvi Konanur.

There are also several titles at Busan that were first selected for Cannes 2020 before it was cancelled.

Among these ‘Ammonite’; ‘Another Round’, ‘Soul’ and ‘Summer of 85’, which also screened recently at LFF (October 7-18).

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture