First Bangla animated film on 1971 in the making

Wahid Ibn Reza

A Bangladeshi filmmaker working with Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver is making the first Bangla 2D animated feature film on the Liberation War.

“We will initially create a short film. The plan is to get a good buzz and use it to obtain funding for a full-length feature film,” said Wahid Ibn Reza, a member of a team responsible for the stunning visual effects in Marvel’s Doctor Strange released last year.

Reza is the writer, director, and executive producer of the project that has the working title “Surviving 71”. He hopes to release the short film by the end of next year and the full-length version in 2019-2020, Reza told The Daily Star in an online conversation yesterday.

“One of the stories from the feature is based on the real life experience of my father. So, obviously, it is personal for me. And I sincerely hope that we can do justice to the men and women who sacrificed their lives and everything for our beloved country. For a flower, for a face, for a flag!” he wrote on Facebook.

The film’s production designer Shariful Islam and Reza have worked together on many projects. Shariful was the art director of Bangla film Bhuban Majhi (2017) that was directed by Fakhrul Arefeen Khan.

“The scripts for the short-film and the trailers are done. The story for the feature is also shaping up nicely. We have officially started its art work as well,” Reza said.

“This is of course depending on funding and budget … As animated films can get quite expensive, we feel like that is the way we can actually produce the film in world standards.”

Reza hopes to work in collaboration with experts from other countries to produce the film.

“Baby steps at a time. But I will make sure the baby steps are significant. I’m not going to compromise on this film,” he said.

Reza’s is currently working as an as assistant production manager for the film Hotel Transylvania 3.

He also worked as a visual effects coordinator on the film Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).

Reza, the only child of Mohammad Rezaul Karim, a former state minister, and Suraya Karim Munny, a lawyer, completed his BSc in mechanical engineering from Buet and BFA in Film Production from the University of British Columbia.

Before moving to North America, he was a familiar face in the Bangladeshi entertainment industry.

He acted in various telefilms and comedy series. He was a model as well.

He worked with legendary Humayun Ahmed and youth icon Mostofa Sarwar Farooki.

Behind the camera, Reza worked as the head writer for advertising firm Grey World Wide. He also wrote telefilms and series for several local television networks in Bangladesh.

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