MNA Feature Desk: Tareque Masud, the “Cinema Feriwalla” is a familiar name in the country’s film history. The leading Bangladeshi independent filmmaker, film producer, screenwriter and lyricist was born on this very day in the year of 1956.
He grew up in Nurpur village of Faridpur in the then East-Pakistan. He started his education in an Islamic madrasah. There he studied for eight years, till the upheaval brought about by the 9-month Liberation War interrupted his education. This childhood experience had a great deal to do with shaping and forming the great man, humanitarian, and the patriot he was.
Matir Moina-a film made by Tareque Masud, is inspired by the experience of the life of the maker himself as a madrassa going small kid in the setting of unrest in East Pakistan in the late 1960s leading up to Bangladesh’s War of Liberation.
It was his first full-length feature film and was released in 2002.This film brought Bangladesh the International Critic’s Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. For the first time in the country’s history a Bangladeshi film got nominated for Oscar. It also won the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize for Directors’ Fortnight for “its authentic, moving and delicate portrayal of a country struggling for its democratic rights”.
His wife, American-born film editor Catherine Masud, was both his creative and life partner. They met at the time he was completing work on Adam Surat and spent the next two decades making films together through their production house Audiovision.
Masud died in a road accident on August 13, 2011 while returning to Dhaka from Manikganj on the Dhaka-Aricha highway after visiting a shooting location. He along with the other passengers was travelling for choosing shooting locations for his new film Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower), filming of which could never begin. Mishuk Munier, his long time friend and co-worker also died in the accident. The coffins of Masud and Munier were laid out in front of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka on 14 August. Thousands of people came there to pay their last respects.
Since his death, Catherine has established the Tareque Masud Memorial Trust. It is dedicated to the task of archiving and memorialising Masud’s work through publications, educational projects, screening programmes, and the completion of their unfinished oeuvre.