Sunder Konar


In today's post-pandemic world, where mental health has emerged as a critical concern, the film "BETELGEUSE" holds profound relevance. It explores the personal journey of Chitra, a young woman grappling with depression, shedding light on the challenges faced by individuals in our society.

Drawing inspiration from the brightest star in the constellation Orion, BETELGEUSE symbolizes the human capacity to derive strength and resilience from the support of others. The film delves into Chitra's life, which is irrevocably altered by a tragic accident, leading to the destruction of her career and dreams.

BETELGEUSE captures the transformative power of choice as Chitra navigates her path with the guidance of her family and encounters with strangers. Through her struggle, we aim to raise awareness about mental health issues and the significance of empathetic connections.

Our objective is to provoke meaningful conversations, challenge stigmas, and foster understanding and compassion within our society. By depicting Chitra's journey, we hope to inspire viewers to reflect on their own lives and empathize with those facing similar circumstances.

Through compelling storytelling and visual aesthetics, BETELGEUSE endeavours to engage audiences on an emotional level, leaving a lasting impact. We believe in the power of cinema to transcend entertainment and serve as a catalyst for positive change.

As the director of BETELGEUSE, I am honoured to collaborate with a talented team committed to bringing this story to life. Their dedication and creativity have been instrumental in crafting a film that aims to resonate with viewers and ignite conversations about mental health.

Together, let us embark on this cinematic exploration of the human spirit, advocating for a society that prioritizes mental well-being, embraces empathy, and supports those in need. BETELGEUSE aspires to be a beacon of hope, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, there is the potential for personal growth and a brighter future.

A great film is characterized by a combination of factors, including compelling storytelling, relatable characters, strong emotional engagement, visual and audio excellence, thoughtful direction, and the ability to resonate with audiences on a profound level. It should evoke emotions, provoke thought, and leave a lasting impact, ultimately transcending its medium to become a memorable and timeless piece of art.

Embrace your creativity and unique vision. The future of filmmaking holds exciting possibilities, with technology making filmmaking more accessible than ever. Storytelling will remain at its core, and your authentic stories have the power to captivate audiences. Collaborate, adapt, and stay passionate. Your voice matters, and the world is eager to hear your stories.

Best of luck on your filmmaking journey.

It's been an honour & motivation to make more films & inspire. Thanks a lot for supporting young talent.

Subhadeep Ghosh


Film is considered a fine art like music, literature, etc. In my initial years, I was more interested in literature than film. But eventually I got the opportunity to watch films of great masters like Ray, Bergman, Buñuel, Antonioni, etc., and I deeply felt that the way film captures time and space is drastically different from literature. I also felt that if I had to say something about my surroundings, a filmic image would be more acceptable to me than literary discourse.

To capture your surroundings honestly and try to give them a shape that can only be possible through image and sound.

Independent filmmaking is the only way through which you can express your thoughts without any external pressure. This is what inspires me as an independent filmmaker, and this is what I would like to say to upcoming independent filmmakers. Although OTT is the new trend, the big screen seems to be here to stay because cinema is essentially a big-screen medium.

It was an excellent festival. Thanks for the official selection and the award. It was a very well-organized and well-communicated festival.

Patricia A Burke


I have loved movies since I was a kid. When I saw the Wizard of Oz for the first time on a color TV I was totally transported to the imaginative space of the story when Dorothy opens the door and the film turns from Black & White to Color. I was 8 years old and that moment has stayed with me and inspired me to become a filmmaker.

A rich story and character development in narrative films. In documentary films it is the personal narratives of the people being filmed and the ways their stories link each other and the audience together in a bigger story.

Follow your passion and risk being thinking outside the box. Filmmaking is multi-dimensional story-telling and if the filmmaker holds that in their awareness as they immerse themselves in the creative process, their films will be viewed around the world and link people together from all diverse cultures.

DICFF is a terrific venue to showcase independent filmmakers. I really appreciate their mission and vision.

Leo Robertson


I started as a writer, and I’d always loved films, but always been challenged by groups of people! I thought it would be a good way of expanding as an artist and a person by challenging myself to lead others in a creative task. Creating opportunities for others, seeing their skillsets grow and making new friends is definitely the most rewarding part of filmmaking.

A strong desire of the filmmaker to express something in particular, especially something deeply personal. A film in which every creative decision is carefully aligned with this expression. Not necessarily money, and definitely not who you know!

Significantly more democratic. Technology keeps getting better for cheaper, and hence more available–which makes gatekeeping tougher than ever before. This also makes the competition explode, of course, as the barrier to entry lowers–but at least as many people as possible get to tell their stories through filmmaking, which is a fantastic outcome.

Very grateful to be picked and interested to see what happens next with this festival! Thanks to the team for their consideration :)

Holger Klussmann


I always liked watching movies and so I intended to express my ideas on film.

A great film reaches the hearts of the audience and transports high values.

A filmmaker should know that he is creating a timeless document what can be seen by many people. A film always has a role model function. Movies will ever be made.

Dhaka International Cultural Film Festival is well organized and cares about the meaning of filming.

Ban Brothers


We didn’t choose it but it chose us, kind of. We are only into the field as much as we need to picturize our music, for we are primarily musicians. However, we've always been captivated by the power of storytelling, and we believe that films are one of the most compelling mediums to tell stories. The ability to transport an audience to different worlds, convey emotions, and provoke thought through visual and auditory elements has always fascinated us.

A great film is a combination of various factors, but at its core, it should have a compelling and well-crafted story. Effective storytelling, strong character development, and a clear theme are essential. Additionally, a great film often features excellent direction, cinematography, and sound design, which collectively immerse the audience in the narrative. Furthermore, it should provoke an emotional response, whether it's laughter, tears, or thoughtfulness. In the end, a great film is one that resonates with its audience.

To upcoming independent filmmakers, our advice is to embrace your unique voice and vision. Independent filmmaking is all about pushing boundaries and telling stories that might not find their place in mainstream cinema. It's a challenging journey, but it offers creative freedom and opportunities to connect with audiences on a personal level. As for the future of filmmaking, technology is continually evolving, making it easier for indie filmmakers to create high-quality work. However, the heart of filmmaking will always be in storytelling and connecting with people on an emotional level. So, stay true to your artistic vision, and don't be afraid to explore new technologies and distribution platforms to share your stories with the world.

We came to know of DCIFF through Film Freeway and this is the first time that we participated in DCIFF. Well, this is the first year of the ‘festival’ anyway. We are lucky to have caught them early (smile). At this point, our level of participation is limited to entering one of our music videos and getting selected and later “winning” an Outstanding Achievement Award in September 2023. Honestly, there is not much beyond that we can say about DCIFF at this point, but we wish them the best and hope to get to know them more in the future.

Alessandro Orlandi


For many years both Camilla Martini and I have been interested in spirituality and history of religions, particularly Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. In Hinduism the energies that animate man are sattwa (pure, clean and strong energy), rajas (energy related to action, change, and movement) and tamas (darkness, inertia, inactivity, and materiality). In the historical period we are living, it seems to us that, unfortunately, tamas energy prevails. We therefore imagined the Soul, besieged by dark and deadly forces, personified by hooded men, but also that the force of light and life will eventually prevail. This is what the music and words of the song and the images of the film seek to tell.

Ours is a 4-minute music video, so much easier to handle than an hour-and-a-half film. That said, we believe that the ingredients that make a film great are the vision that inspires the filmmakers, the connection to the "spirit of the times," what the Germans call the "Zeitgeist," and the beauty of the final product, which requires the effective cooperation of many professionals: director, screenwriters, cinematographer, gaffer, editor, producer, composer (plus many others) and, last, but not least, actors.

Advances in techonology will make it easier and easier to produce and make low-budget films that can be released through online screening. This opens up enormous expressive possibilities for new filmmakers and those who have something to say through the extraordinary medium of expression that is cinema. But it is precisely this ease of making new films that should engage future filmmakers to produce high-quality films that are not inspired only by commercial motives. The world needs this.

We immediately felt a deep affinity with the goals of this Festival, which encourages creativity, cultural diversities, exchange of ideas, and helps the new talents through interviews and screenings. We are so proud and honored to be part of this Festival!

Keeping fingers crossed for the Annual Event,

All the Best!

Barnali Ray Shukla


It happened over time. In the times I was growing up in, as a child and all along my student life , we listened to parents. Saw what the rest of the world was doing. Filmmaking was not an option though as a family we were avid film viewers. That was the only larger than life experience. I was no rebel that I would break free and do this, no. I was and am this quiet person and mostly introverted. But I observe, read , watch and listen.

And I ALWAYS wrote, not just to be published but writing was and is my life. I write every day. The journey that really happened was from the page to the screen. And the hunger to share stories and reach more lives keeps me going. As a filmmaker, you can mount that writing in a big way. That is a dream come true.

I wish I knew but I do know something that there is no formula.

The magic happens when you work on what you believe in and with full commitment and energy with a team that shares that same energy, you are bound to make something that is strong and appealing to a certain audience. Say your story the best way, what only you can tell in the most exciting way. Screenplay is the foundation of a good film, nurture that in the best way with all that you have, write, rewrite, be open and then go back to writing again. Value newness, break free from what has been, know your strengths, dont talk about it much, do it. It will touch people, when it touches people, it makes a mark. BUT don't worry about making a mark, be concerned with how you tell the story and with whom. The rest follows.

The magic happens when you work on what you believe in and with full commitment and energy with a team that shares that same energy, you are bound to make something that is strong and appealing to a certain audience. Say your story the best way, what only you can tell in the most exciting way. Screenplay is the foundation of a good film, nurture that in the best way with all that you have, write, rewrite, be open and then go back to writing again. Value newness, break free from what has been, know your strengths, dont talk about it much, do it. It will touch people, when it touches people, it makes a mark. BUT don't worry about making a mark, be concerned with how you tell the story and with whom. The rest follows.

For upcoming filmmakers all I can say, that live a life in real world, be hungry for experiences, dont be stuck to phone and internet only. Don't just ask google, find out for yourself . Be curious , be playful, explore and dont stick to formula. When you live life and immerse yourself, the audience lives with you. And know you will break your heart a hundred times and that is nothing, be ready for that pain, it's nothing compared to the joy you can bring, not just for yourself but for millions.

Filmmaking is in exciting times. The formats are plenty , just reduce excuses , dont resort to blame game, stay restless, write on there is no alternative to good writing. But first write, and yes do have a day job to begin with. And know that it doesn;t happen overnight. Be ready.

An honour that Joon is an award winner, it is so good to be included at the Dhaka International Cultural Film Festival. Grateful to the jury for this recognition. I am waiting to come to Dhaka to screen Joon, can't wait to interact with the audience. Fingers crossed.

Aashbo all can make it happen. Bhalo theko well, keep working and bringing films together.

Darr Reitknecht


I was inspired to making films when I took a film class in college. In this class I was able to bring the written word(screenplay) to life by film.

A great film not only begins with a fantastic script but must also contain great actors, and an entire crew working in synch to achieve the directors vision.

The future of filmmaking is wide open based on the advancement of cameras and computer generated scenes; however, with all these advancements there still must be creative direction using the technological advancements at their highest level to achieve a noteworthy film.

I was humbled when my screenplay won an award at the Dhaka International Cultural Film Festival as I realized my work was appreciated from half way across the world. Those that work at this festival truly make entering your work a pleasant journey with their great communication skills and goal to provide a most memorable experience.

I will definitely enter again.

Elin Osjord


I am a dancer. When I got my first camera and looked through the lens I felt a flame being lit, inside.

To capture people moving on film, capture the world the way I see this. Capture my vision of the world, and share it, felt very liberating and empowering.

Being able to share and give what’s on my heart though film never stopped intriguing me.

A great film for me is one that expands the world through feeling. That talks to many layers, beyond words. And both softens me and makes more brave.

I hope the future of film will contribute to connect the people on this planet, through what we have in common. That it will point to a widening perspective of what a human being and life is. The value of each being and of this life. Beyond the crazy materialistic view that dominates in our days. I encourage all new filmmakers to follow their own feeling, their heart, in filmmaking. To reach the hearts of others. And do it in always new and experimental ways.

We feel very honoured, empowered and inspired to be selected into Dhaka International Cultural Film Festival.

That our film was chosen as a winner warms our hearts. And gives us the feeling that this festival is part of moving the world forward towards a better place.

It’s an honour to be a part of it. Thank you!

Harry Waldman


I have loved movies for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories involve me watching movies when I was just a couple years old. While I have loved watching films forever, I was always someone who was a bit too "practical" when it came to my career, despite the fact that my Dad had been a successful artist since I was young. I assumed that you were supposed to graduate college and then work at a job that you weren't passionate about in order to pay the bills. The thought really depressed me, so I tried not to think about it too often and focused on my hobbies, which included watching movies, playing video games, sports, listening to music and hanging out with friends.

I studied business in college, which did ultimately teach me how to be a good leader as a film director/producer, but the actual content didn't interest me much. I assumed that I would get some business marketing job out of college that I wouldn't really be passionate about. I started to have these fantasies about finding myself working a marketing gig on a film production during my junior year of college, and while the fantasy excited me, it also depressed me because it didn't seem realistic considering my situation.

During the second semester of my senior year of college, shortly after watching "The Social Network", which is one of my favorite films of all time, and which I believe had an influence on what I have written below, I had a dream that I was going to a prestigious film school, taking various filmmaking courses, collaborating with other students to work on film projects, etc. Near the end of the dream, I met a psychic who told me that one of my closest friends (Inspired by Mark Zuckerberg stabbing Eduardo Saverin in the back) would steal my film idea, but despite this awful fact, I would become a successful filmmaker.

While I believe that I get along pretty well with most people, I can be a vengeful person if I feel that I was wronged. What truly shocked me about this dream was that I was so excited about the prospect of being a successful filmmaker, that it completely overshadowed my distress over having my film idea stolen by my best friend.

Suddenly, I woke up, jumped out of my bed, grabbed my backpack and jacket and ran to the front door of my apartment, getting ready to go to one of my "film classes". Then, I realized that it was 12:10 p.m. on a Saturday; that I had just been at a bar the previous night with friends; and that I wasn't a film student at a prestigious film school, but a marketing student at a business school; and I would graduate college and find some job that I hated; and that would be the rest of my life...this was the single most depressing moment of my entire life.

I stared at my bedroom wall in horror for about 20 minutes and then a lightbulb suddenly popped on inside my head. I told myself, "So you finally figured out your passion as you're graduating college. That's unfortunate, but you're still only 21 years old. You have plenty of time". I immediately came up with a plan for my filmmaking career. I would graduate college with my business marketing degree and find a decent paying job in business after college during the day while pursuing my filmmaking career during the evenings and weekends. This plan launched the beginning of my exciting filmmaking journey, from watching youtube videos on filmmaking and working as a production assistant on film sets while working in Insurance to pay the bills to being able to direct and produce my own films as my main passion, while working for a post-production company, handling video editing and video ingest.

While I believe that there are so many important aspects to filmmaking, I do think that the script is arguably the most important one. I think it is the area in which you have the most control regarding the overall quality of the film. If you have a compelling narrative, backed by interesting characters and an intelligent script, as long as you don't drop the ball in multiple areas, the film should turn out well. On the other hand, if you rush your idea and script, you are going to have a serious uphill battle to climb. With that being said, I think that the quality of actors/actresses, cinematography, score, editing, sound quality, etc. are all very important and should not be overlooked.

In addition to the technical aspects of a quality film, the movies that have the longest lasting impact on me are the ones that push me to the edge from an emotional standpoint, particularly films that contain a strong final act.

While COVID certainly slowed things down temporarily, I think the future of filmmaking looks bright, particularly for the indie filmmaking industry. I have been really impressed with a handful of films that I have been fortunate enough to see in some of the film festivals that I have been selected into, and I think that the switch to digital filmmaking over the last couple decades has made it more affordable for filmmakers who aren't rich or connected to make films, which has led to an uptick in the number of good indie films being made over the last handful of years.

It's been great so far! The level of detail and communication with your festival has been better than a handful of other festivals that I have been a part of, which is something that I really appreciate. And I truly believe that your festival cares about their filmmakers, which isn't always the case with film festivals.


Mathew Thomas Chapman


I've always enjoyed using a camcorder since I was a kid so that passion led to more and more advancement.

FOR UPCOMING FILMMAKERS: Don't quit. Find yourself and what matters to you and say something about it. Don't copy everybody else but be unique. The future for filmmaking is going to be better than ever before as things decentralize and technology continues to get cheaper and improve.

About DICFF: It was incredible and we were so lucky premiere in Bangladesh at your amazing festival.

Russell Emanuel


I grew up listening to film music, especially that of John Williams. His music really inspired me to enter filmmaking.

I think a film that emotes, one that touches one’s own emotions. If a film resonates with you and gives you “goosebumps,” it’s for that person a subjectively great film.

I think the future of independent films is streaming on platforms like Tubi TV and Amazon Prime. It’s definitely a great way to showcase one’s talents.

We only screened our trailer for our upcoming feature film Staycation which is currently in post-production. This festival helped us to promote our upcoming feature film with a win for the trailer too which we greatly appreciated.

John Parr


I have always loved film, as a child I would go to the Saturday morning kids showings and the matinees. It took me out of my Northern mining town and transported me to other places, other worlds that thrilled and inspired me. In my music and in my films I strive to do the same to the audience.

A great film lives in your heart and mind long after the final frame. Those poignant moments within it can carry you through life’s difficulties and help you put one step in front of the other. As film makers we should use these great monuments of cinema to set the bar for our own aims and visions, never settling for second best. Cinema has never been more needed that in the world of today. Films have to be made for love and with love.

Entertainment is all. Make films for audiences. Entertainment is the only way to get the message across- its vital. We have to stop the cut and paste mentality that indeed AI will perpetuate. It is so difficult to tell new stories , so many avenues have been explored but we have to seek out new angles and fresh approaches to carry the ideas and messages forward. Be brutal, play devils advocate, put yourself in the audiences shoes long before your script is finished and be prepared to tear it up and start again. The script is all and indeed the least expensive part of film making. Get it right in the room long before you put film or media in the camera. Its your baby- love it like a real one.

I was thrilled to be awarded best film and director at Dhaka. There are so many politics and biases out there in main stream film production and I believe the ethos is prevalent in festivals too, particularly the larger ones. When researching Dhaka, it was clear that the team judged purely on merit and the effort and quality the filmmaker has put into every frame. I have devoted my live savings and every waking hour to Unconquered and like all my fellow film makers, I expect an honourable fair hearing for it on a level playing field. Dhaka gave me this for which I am honoured and ever thankful.