Abid Hossain Khan is a young film enthusiast who has made documentary films screened in festivals at home and abroad. He thinks the present condition of our movie industry can be changed through positive initiative on themes, plots and distribution system.
1. What inspires you to be a filmmaker?
I think it has taught me how to see life. I believe that movie making is stronger than any other form of art. I learned that it is an inner journey of life that inspires living and supports thinking. Movies are an integral part of life with much to learn and much to do. It also supports individual initiatives to narrate story and attract the audience in the way a person- generally a director- thinks.
2. What changes in our movies do you wish to bring?
I think we lack innovation in style of narrating stories. Hence, I am trying to narrate stories in newer forms and styles. Besides, I would like to adopt newer stories in order to improve the styles of narrating and technique of storytelling. In this case, I think I would be experimental in my production.
3. Experimental works are often not commercially successful. How do you plan to reach the audience then?
Facts are facts. I think not everyone can reach the audience all the time. Independent movies are always of less value in terms of commercial success since these do not appeal to the mainstream audience. In this situation I have no other way except from going to the audience with projection screen. I will go to the audience with my experimental films, reach out to them, unlike many experimental filmmakers.
4. Do you plan to stick to documentary storytelling or do you also want to work on fiction?
Actually, I would like to break down the barrier of fiction and non-fiction in movie production. I hope I would be able to produce something that will not be classified as something called fiction or non-fiction. My production will be based on the idea of anti-structure. I will play a psychological game with the audience and I want them to define the genre of my production by themselves.
5. What do you think of other contemporary movie makers?
I would say that the people making movies in recent times are fully dependent on advertisements and sponsorships and their distribution policy is very weak. Even the format, story line and plot are pre-determined by the producers which, I think, destroys the creativity of directors. Again the actors and actresses are selected for exposure. Considering all these traits, I would say that the present media is stagnant and needs change.
6. What aspects do you think is missing from the present movie making scene of our country?
That is not an easy question to answer. I know that the present film makers of our country were basically film activists. In a broader sense, the films in our country are not seen passionately and seriously. Films in our country are primarily seen as means of business, unlike everywhere else. But we cannot guarantee the quality of production while thinking of business through movie making.
7. What do you think needs to be done to change the scenario?
I think there needs to be a collective initiative and the government, media professionals and people in personal level can work on this issue. I am quite sure that the audience's demand and taste will reflect the need for change given the boring and stagnant situation of our media.
8. What role can mass media, such as journalism, play in this regard?
There must be diversity in thinking. Mass media can promote the need for this. Uniqueness and diversity are must in media industry in order to bring about different styles and changes in the traditional form of movies and movie making. I think media also can play a vital role in disseminating this message among the audience. Media should promote the film makers who are different and likes to work on the independent movies.
9. Is the mass media doing this right now?
See, the media is very powerful enough and it is capable of promoting anonymous people as stars. Generally, the media is seen to promote famous people of the country. It should come out of this tradition and focus on the young people who are trying to produce something different. I think it can help the people who are engaged in independent movie production.
10. What are you working on at the moment?
Presently, I am working on pre-production of a movie. I cannot define the genre though; in fact, I choose not to define the genre.
Interviewed by Mohammad Zahidul Islam