Bangladeshi filmmaker Nuhash Humayun’s ‘Moving Bangladesh’ has received NT$2.5 million ($89,800) from the Taipei Film Fund. With this, the TIFFCOM selected project has achieved 60% of its $659,000 budget and aims to raise the rest in Tokyo.
In ‘Moving Bangladesh,’ sick of being stuck in traffic — and in life — a struggling middle-class Bangladeshi entrepreneur creates a motorcycle-based ride sharing app that may change transport in developing cities such as Dhaka. First, he must overcome his family’s skepticism and a hostile political environment.
Humayun’s credits include a segment of anthology film titled “Iti, Tomari Dhaka’ (Sincerely Yours, Dhaka), which premiered at Busan in 2018 and was Bangladesh’s entry to the Oscars. He is is also a fellow of the Asian Film Academy 2019, where he directed the LGBTQ drama ‘Lipstick’ in 2019.
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Prior to Tokyo, ‘Moving Bangladesh’ participated in India’s Film Bazaar co-production market and was selected as one of seven top projects from there to pitch at the Cannes Film Market. It was also part of Locarno’s Open Doors initiative and has been selected for the Film Independent producing lab in Los Angeles.
“We’ve been working relentlessly on bringing the world of ‘Moving Bangladesh’ to life,” said Humayun. “It’s amazing to know so many people in Bangladesh and beyond believe in this project.”
The project is backed by three pedigreed entities. Arifur Rahman and Bijon Imtiaz, co-producers of Singapore winner ‘Live From Dhaka’ are producing for Bangladesh’s Goopy Bagha Productions (‘Kingdom of Clay Subjects,’ ‘Roqaia’); Tran Bich-Quan for France’s Dissidenz Films (Lav Diaz’s ‘Prologue to the Great Desaparecido’); and Patrick Mao Huang for Taiwan’s Flash Forward Entertainment (Yilin Bo Chen’s ‘Moneyboys,’ Midi Z’s ‘The Road to Mandalay’).
“After the participation in Film Bazaar and Cannes Co-Production Days, we would like to reach out further to potential co-producers, equity investors, and international sales representatives, preferably but not limited to Japan, China, the US, and Europe. We also intend to create awareness of the project among the festival circle,” Mao told Variety.
Rahman and Imtiaz added: “The start-up phenomenon became a global culture and in Bangladesh, the youth started to start businesses and changed their life in this new normal time. ‘Moving Bangladesh’ is a success story of a fabulous start-up called ‘Pathao’. In addition, this story must resonate with a global audience especially in Asia. In this regard, Tokyo could be a great place to expand the collaboration opportunities through on-boarding more partners, funders, producers, distributors and sales agents. And this is a great chance to build awareness about the film in the Asian market.”
Principal photography will commence at the end of 2022.