NEW DELHI, Oct 13: The internationally-acclaimed Dhaka International Folk Festival (DIFF), Bangladesh, held every year in November has been cancelled this year due to the prevailing Corona pandemic and tentatively re-scheduled in January, 2021.
The organisers of the festival, Rainbow Film Society, have decided not to go ahead with the festival in November for fear of spreading COVID-19. It hoped that the the January festival venue would remain unchanged to be held in five theatres. It, however, is still not sure whether the DIFF would go hybrid (physical and online) giving the pandemic situation then. A final decision was expected to be taken by the end of November or early December.
Incepted in 1992 the most comprehensive annual folk festival celebrating South Asian Folk music became annual in 2015 held, at the Banani Army Stadium, Dhaka.
The theme of the 19th edition of the festival will be ‘Better Film, Better Audience and Better Society’. The festival will have a competition for “Asian Cinema Section”, “Retrospective”, “Bangladesh Panorama Section”, Cinema of the World Section”, Children Films Section”, Women Filmmakers Section”, “Short and Independent Films Section” and “Spiritual Films Section.
The DIFF festival is divided into several categories bringing together filmmakers, critics and film lovers from all over the world. In its annual edition last year, the festival screened about 220 films from 74 countries.
The Asian Cinema in January 2021 will comprise of an international jury with ace Indian film actor-director Anjan Dutt, Sri Lankan filmmaker Dr Somaratne Dissanayake and Ferdous Ahmed the celebrated Bangladeshi actor-producer.
The Indian presence in the festival is usually strong with about 40 to 50 films are submitted every year and about 50 per cent of which get the final nod for screening. The last year’s edition had screened the latest features by Abhishek Shah, Anjan Dutt, Biju Kumar Damodaran, Ajay Bahl, Srijit Mukherjee and Ranjan Ghosh among others.
Last year’s edition of DIFF held on November 14, was dedicated to six legends of Bangla music: Fakir Abdur Rob Shah, Subir Nandi, Bari Siddiqui, Shahnaz Rahmatullah, Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, and Ayub Bachchu.