Lotte Hoek and Catherine Masud retrospect on their respective moments of arrivals as well as parallels & differences in their journeys in the late 1980’s and early 2000’s in Bangladesh. Masud talks about the Short Film Movement of the 80’s and the first edition of Dhaka International Short & Documentary Film Festival as the pivotal point in the evolution of Independent Cinema in Bangladesh. She shares intimate anecdotes from her involvements in the making, distribution and exhibition of films like Muktir gaan (Dir. Tareque & Catherine Masud), and more. Hoek speaks about the continuous echo of the 80’s movement feeding into the contemporary experiments in lens-based practices, theatre and fine arts. She discusses the shift in the early 2000’s with the advancement of technology, role of television & advertisement, crumbling cinema halls and the subsequent countervailing of the independent cinema to the mainstream industry. They also share their disparate experiences of being foreigners, who engaged extensively in the world of art & visual culture in Bangladesh and how it eventually shaped their personal identities. For more information on their works, please visit Lotte Hoek and Catherine Masud.

For more information on their works, please visit Lotte Hoek and Catherine Masud.

Catherine Masud
Catherine Masud is an award-winning filmmaker with over 30 years of experience in producing, directing and editing both documentary and fictional genres. She produced, co-wrote, and edited the acclaimed feature Matir Moina (The Clay Bird), which won the International Critics’ Prize at Cannes and became the first Bangladeshi film to compete in the Oscars. Thematically many of her films address social justice issues and the conflict between religious and cultural identity. An American citizen by birth, Catherine spent much of her adult life in Dhaka, Bangladesh, working together with her late husband and filmmaking partner Tareque Masud. Since her relocation back to the US in 2015, she has divided her time between teaching, writing, and filmmaking. She currently teaches documentary and human rights at the University of Connecticut.

Lotte Hoek
Lotte Hoek is a media anthropologist whose ethnographic research explores cultures of the moving image in South Asia, particularly in Bangladesh. Her current research focuses on art film and non-theatrical exhibition as grounds for political contestation in Bangladesh since 1948. She combines archival and ethnographic exploration. She is the author of Cut-Pieces: Celluloid Obscenity and Popular Cinema in Bangladesh, which explores the nature of film form in the popular film industry. She is co-editor of the journal BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. She is Head of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.

Photo Credit: Paul James Gomes