Film as a Catalyst for Smart Citizens and Society

Peace Film Festival 2023: Celebrating Filmmakers for a Smart and Inclusive Bangladesh

July 7, 2024

Awardees and dignitaries at the Peace Film Festival 2023 award-giving ceremony, held at the Bangladesh Computer Council Auditorium, ICT Tower, on July 7, 2024, celebrating the contributions of short filmmakers to a peaceful and inclusive Smart Bangladesh.

©UNDP Bangladesh

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh, in collaboration with the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) of the ICT Division, jointly orgniased the award-giving ceremony of the Peace Film Festival 2023 under the ‘Diversity for Peace’ initiative of the Partnerships for a More Tolerant, Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB) project of UNDP, supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka.

The event, held on July 07, 2024, at the Bangladesh Computer Council Auditorium, ICT Tower, recognised twenty-five short filmmakers for their outstanding contributions in four categories, showcasing the vision of a tolerant, peaceful, and inclusive Smart Bangladesh.

The ceremony was attended by Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, as the chief guest. The event was organized in collaboration with the Smart Bangladesh Network (SBN) and Films 4 Peace Foundation.

In his address, Zunaid Ahmed Palak highlighted the transformative journey of Bangladesh. "Smart Entertainment is a key element of our path to building Smart Bangladesh," he remarked. He also emphasized the significant milestones in the country's film industry, including the production of Bangladesh's first full-length animation film, ‘Mujib Amar Pita,’ and the first 3D film, ‘Amader Chhoto Rasel Sona.’ He lauded the filmmakers for their positive content, encouraging them to continue contributing to the creation of smart citizens and a smart society.

Over a hundred short filmmakers and content creators participated in the Peace Film Festival 2023. The Jury board screened 66 short films and 22 video content, selecting 20 short films, two documentaries, two videos, and an animation for the prestigious “Peace Film Festival 2023” Award.

Shamsul Arefin, Honorable Secretary of the ICT Division, joined the ceremony as a special guest. He emphasised the importance of depicting positive narratives of Smart Bangladesh and highlighted the qualities of a true smart citizen. "Competence and human values are the two qualities that comprise the true smart citizen," he stated, urging filmmakers to showcase these positive aspects on camera.

Sheela Tasneem Haq, Senior Governance Specialist of UNDP Bangladesh, underscored the importance of the festival in fostering peace and harmony. "We can use film as a medium to create attachment with people and address contemporary issues at a global level," she expressed.

The Peace Film Festival 2023 kicked off in October, 2023, to advocate for a smart and inclusive Bangladesh.

The event was attended by Sheepa Hafiza, President of Films 4 Peace Foundation, Manik Mahmud, Programme Specialist Innovations, a2i, Md. Abu Sayed, PTIB Project Director and Director of BCC, Md Abdul Quayyum, Head of Communications, UNDP Bangladesh; and Ranajit Kumar, Executive Director (grade-1), Bangladesh Computer Council, among others.

"Smart Entertainment is key to building Smart Bangladesh," remarked Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP. "Competence and human values are the true qualities of a smart citizen," emphasized Shamsul Arefin.