CEPL and Reliance Entertainment to Release ‘Saturday Afternoon’, A Film Directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, in USA & Canada on 10th March 2023

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 ‘Saturday Afternoon’, a film directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, will be released in USA & CANADA on 10th March 2023. The Global distribution rights of the film have been acquired by CEPL and released through Reliance Entertainment. The intensely shot one-take film was completed in 2018, and will be screened for audiences in North America before its official release in its home country, Bangladesh. It will also be released in other countries across the globe in subsequent months.

A still from the movie Saturday Afternoon

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Saturday Afternoon Movie

Commenting on the film finally being released, Director, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, states, 

“I am glad the film is finally going to be seen by wider audience. The movie is very important for people in my country to see, and I wished it would be released in Bangladesh first, but never the less I’m glad that it will be seen by people all over the world, starting with USA & Canada. I invite the audience to come and experience the film in theatres!”

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki

The film is about an unprecedented terrorist attack that takes place in a peaceful café in the center of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on a nice Saturday afternoon. The film unravels the clashes and contradictions of religion, ideology, and civilizations through a terror drama shot in a single take in that Dhaka café which acts as a miniature of the conflicted world we live in.

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki is a Bangladeshi film writer, director, and producer with a number of critically acclaimed films to his credit. His films have represented Bangladesh at the Oscars three times.

Commenting on this collaboration, Sreyashii Sengupta, CEO (South-East Asia) of CEPL, says,

A thought-provoking, intense film which is a  dramatic narrative evoking varied emotions and conversation, we are happy we can bring Bangladesh’s most modernist director Farooki’s acclaimed  “Saturday Afternoon ” ( Shonibar Bikel)  finally to global audiences after four years of breathless wait.”

Dhruv Sinha, Head Overseas Businesses, Reliance Entertainment, adds,

Saturday Afternoon” gives us an opportunity to work with a maverick filmmaker like Farooki and it also opens doors for films from Bangladesh to the world.  We can assure you that the team at Reliance Entertainment will bring many such gems in future to the world audience.”

Sumit Chadha, AVP, Reliance Entertainment Studios US, adds, 

“Mostofa Farooki’s Saturday Afternoon has already been well-received at festivals around the world, and we’re excited to put it out in Cinemas first in North America on March 10. I’m sure people here will like the movie as much as they have everywhere else.”

In its review, The Hollywood Reporter called the film a “breathless narrative” while The New York Times recognised the film’s “tense moments of human struggle”. Critics all over the world heaped praise on the film. Film Inquiry wrote, “Farooki’s candid treatment of events, alongside his technically-impressive recreation of it, transcends any interpretations of exploitation or notions of “cheap” drama, instead he has formed a powerful statement that practically speaks for itself.” And Easternkicks wrote “A harrowing, uncompromising anatomy of a real-life terror attack tautly dramatized into a single-take thriller.”

The film has also received critical acclaim and praise from several film festivals, including the Russian Federation of Film Critics Jury Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival in April 2019, as well as the Kommersant Jury Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival in 2019.

More accolades have added to the film’s success, including the Prix du Jury Netpac, 26th Vesoul IFFAC, 2020; Prix du Jury Lycéen, 26th Vesoul IFFAC, 2020; Winner, City of Kumamoto Prize, Fukuoka International Film Festival 2021; Official Selection, Sydney International Film Festival, June 2019; In Competition, Munich International Film Festival, July 2019; LIFF, London, July 2019; Official Selection, Hongkong Asain Film Festival, In Competition, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Busan International Film Festival, October 2019, Official Selection, IFFSA Toronto 2022.

A CEPL and Reliance Entertainment Release, ‘Saturday Afternoon’ is written & directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, produced by Jaaz Multimedia, Chabial (Bangladesh) and Tandem Productions (Germany, Russia).
The film is in Bengali (with English Subtitles) and English language

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