Speaking about the judging criteria of the festival, Nazer said, the technical aspect of a film counts for 50 percent, and the theme also counts for 50 percent, which also depends on the message the film festival has to convey to the world.
“It’s important to understand the cultures, traditions and politics of different countries. There can be minor differences, though there may be many similarities, too. That is the beauty of the cinema,” he added.
“I’ve been part of the jury for three local film festivals held recently,” he said. “The selection criteria is totally different from one to the other. In selecting, what I consider most is the originality, or the soul of the film. There could be European, American, Indian influences, but what matters is the heart of the respective culture of the filmmaker and how much he can inter-relate with the world.”
Nazer said that nowadays cinema is hugely influenced by Netflix and other entertainment platforms, and through this new medium of entertainment the audience has expanded and expectations run high.
“It’s encouraging to see a mix of entertaining films with strong themes,” he added.
‘Fagun Haway,’directed by Tauquir Ahmed, won the Best Cinematography award (Enamul Haque Sohel), and Best Sound Design category (Ripon Nath).
Of the 34 films from eight SAARC countries, four were from Afghanistan, including two short and two feature films, of which “A Letter to the President” received the award.
Hassan’s feature films were released in Iran and internationally, such as ‘Back Day,’ ‘Here, Iran,’ ‘Utopia,’ ‘The Check Post,’ and ‘Winners.’
The film ‘Utopia’ was an official entry in the Academy Awards 2015 and the Golden Globe Awards, winning more than 18 awards nationally and internationally.
Other members of the jury panel were Emmanuel Dela Cruz, a Filipino director, a versatile and sought-after creative personality in the film and TV industry in the Philippines; and Milana Majar, a Bosnian director, who is also a journalist and screenwriter specializing in documentary films.