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'Once There Were Rivers’ premieres online, at Sonargaon


Published : 20 Nov 2021 08:30 PM | Updated : 22 Nov 2021 12:06 PM

As part of the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh’s 60th anniversary project 'Goethe Pop Up Festival' and to address the deteriorating conditions of the rivers in climate-vulnerable Bangladesh, a short documentary film ‘Once There Were Rivers’ was screened at Sonargaon in Narayanganj district on Thursday, November 18.

Broqué, the first up cycled high-end street wear fashion lab in Bangladesh, premiered the short documentary film created and directed by Dhaka-based Mahenaz Chowdhury, founder and zero-waste designer of Broqué, in collaboration with Berlin-based Simone Simonato, founder of SICA Upcycling Design.

Read more: Int’l Film Festival of India (IFFI) begins

Together with the people interviewed for the documentary film, their families and neighbours, the first screening took place at Sonargaon, Narayanganj district which was hosted by Mahenaz Chowdhury at Rajon Miah’s jamdani atelier. Miah is the owner of Sonia Jamdani, who was one of the interviewees for the documentary.

The film captures the lives of the jamdani weaving community and their connection to the river and how over the years, growing river pollution impacted the value of their revered craft. 

“As time passes, we fade into dust, but films like this, tells our story for the new generations to realize the importance of caring about our lives, our rivers and value our craft. I appreciate the initiative taken by Mahenaz in making such a beautiful film,” says Rajon Miah.

Encapsulating the wholesome event in the midst of Sonargaon’s lush greenery, Mahenaz Chowdhury adds, “Without the rivers, there will be no life, we need to acknowledge as the nation’s growth depends on urbanization & industrialization, we cannot separate ourselves from nature. We have the responsibility to protect and conserve our ecosystem and for that we have to contain consumerism in all possible ways.”

The premiere was accompanied by Arifur Rahman, Bappy Mondol, and Aasif U Hamid from Goopy Bagha Productions Limited, shooting the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh’s ‘2021 Goethe Pop Up Festival’ documentary across Bangladesh.

To continue the discourse of sustainability and river pollution, the Dhaka based exclusive premiere will be held at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) 'Lecture Gallery' in Dhaka on Saturday, November 20, at 3 pm.

Organized by Green Planet Club, IUB, the panelists for the screening arw Dr K Ayaz Rabbani (Head, Dept of Environmental Science & Management), Dr Abdul Khaleque (Professor, Dept of Environmental Science & Management) and Md Ekhtekharul Islam (Senior Lecturer, Club Coordinator, Green Planet Club, IUB Dept of Environmental Science & Management), moderated by Mahenaz Chowdhury. 

To mark the 60 years journey of Goethe in Bangladesh, multiple events are being held, focusing on environmental challenges and sustainable futures, organized by Broqué, SICA, and Goethe-Institut Bangladesh until 22 November 2021.    -UNB

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