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Unique short film festival on earthquake celebrated for first time

A short film festival on earthquake was celebrated for the first time in the capital for making mass people aware about earthquake preparedness through the language of film.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) organized the festival under its CNCRP project at Public Library Auditorium as part of their efforts to raise people’s awareness on natural disasters, especially on earthquake in major cities in Bangladesh. This type of short film festival is first time in this country.

A 1.28 minutes length short film named “Emergency Exit” made by a group of students of Media and Communication Department of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) won the first prize. A 2.43 minutes length film named “Jerk of Dark” made by Tonmoy Mir, a member of Dhaka University Film Society received the first runner up prize while Zubayer Hassan Siddiqui, a graduate of North South University got second runner up prize for his film named “Survive”.

The film festival was held with 10 best films following a short film competition, launched across the city two months ago by JICA calling young film makers to raise their voices to aware the risk and preparedness.

The Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh office Mikio Hateada said Bangladesh has been striving for equitable socioeconomic development amid recurring calamities. In order to achieve any such development and get more resilient, Bangladesh should make the utmost efforts to protect environment, adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risks.

He said Japan’s assistance to Bangladesh particularly on disaster risk reduction comprises of 65 projects amounting to 650 million USD in the last forty years. “We are committed to go forward with our technical and financial assistance until the country reaches its goal,” he added.

“I’m very happy to know that more than 20 films were produced by young, promising Bangladeshi creators. I imagine it was quite difficult for them to create a film of earthquake risk since many of them must not have experienced any earthquake themselves. But, this film competition is a quite important step for the country to get the ordinary citizens to prepare for earthquakes and to reduce the risk of disaster,” he said.

JICA expert team leader Fumio Kaneko said “a small Japanese group of people has been working with PWD to improve the building conditions in major cities in Bangladesh under a project called CNCRP as part of the technical support of JICA. It is our wish to expand not only technical support but also such understandings towards possible risk among people. Today marked the very first film festival on such topic. Let us take this opportunity to start our conversation with our friends and family how to get prepared.”

“Today we only broadcasted 10 best films but have received many. We all appreciated the young and prominent film makers who have shown their passion to give us a wake up call. Congratulations for all the contributors.” JICA communication Specialist Eriko Kobayeshi said.

Jury board members film director Nargis Akhter, Zahid Hossain, Mohammed Hossain Jemi, and Dilder Hossain also present on the occasion.

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