26-28 October 2020

23rd Asian Project Market

2020 Project

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Project A Burning Question No. 4
Director Mostofa Sarwar FAROOKI
Country USA / Bangladesh
Producer Mostofa Sarwar FAROOKI / Shrihari SATHE / Nusrat Imrose TISHA
Production Company Chabial Films, Dialectic
Writer Mostofa Sarwar FAROOKI
Genre Drama
Running time 90′
Project StatusScript Development
Director’s Profile
Mostofa Sarwar Farooki is a Bangladeshi film director, producer and screenwriter with a number of critically acclaimed films to his credit.
His fourth feature, Television (2012), was the closing film at Busan International Film Festival 2012 and won the Jury Grand Prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2013, in addition to more awards from Dubai International Film Festival 2012, Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival 2013, Asiatica Film Festival 2013, and Kolkata International Film Festival 2013.
Three of Farooki’s films were official Bangladeshi entries for the Academy Awards-Third Person Singular Number (2009), Television (2012), and No Bed of Roses (2017).
He is currently working on his APM 2014 project, No Land’s Man (2021), which won the MPA-APSA Academy Film Fund and best project award at the Film Bazaar 2014.
Farooki has served on international juries for Busan International Film Festival 2016, Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2015, East End Film Festival 2016, Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2017, Kolkata International Film Festival 2017, and other film events.
Producer’s Profile
Mostofa Sarwar Farooki began producing features with his own award-winning film, Television (2012); the closing film at Busan International Film Festival in 2012. He then went on to produce three more of his own films, Ant Story (2013), Saturday Afternoon (2019), and No Land’s Man (2021). MPA-APSA script fund-winning No Land’s Man (2021) was his first English language feature; shot in New York, Sydney, and Mumbai and currently in post-production. A Burning Question will be his second English language film as producer.

Shrihari Sathe is a New York and Mumbai-based director and producer. Sathe most recently won the Film Independent Spirit Awards 2019?Producers Award. He produced Pervertigo (Jaron Henrie-McCrea, 2012), which had its world premiere at both Warsaw Film Festival 2012 and Mumbai Film Festival 2012 and was a part of the IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs 2011. Sathe’s follow up production, It Felt Like Love (Eliza Hittman, 2013), premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 and screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013 to great reviews.
Sathe is a fellow of the Film Independent Producing Lab 2011 and Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab 2013, and has received further fellowships from the HFPA, PGA, IFP, Film Independent and the Sundance Institute, to name a few. He was a nominee for the Gotham Awards 2014, Film Independent Spirit Awards 2015, and in 2016 received the Cinereach Producer Award.
Sathe is also a fellow of Trans Atlantic Partners 2013 and Cannes Producer’s Network (2014, 2015, 2016). He co-produced Sunrise (Partho Sen-Gupta, 2014), which premiered at Busan International Film Festival 2014; and Dukhtar (Afia Nathaniel, 2014), which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2014 and was Pakistan’s Official Submission for Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards 2015. Sathe’s feature directorial debut, Ek Hazarachi Note (1000 Rupee Note) (2014), won the Centenary Special Jury Award and Silver Peacock for Best Film at the International Film Festival of India 2014, and has received over 30 awards. Sathe produced A Woman, A Part (Elisabeth Subrin, 2016), which had its world premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016, and co-produced Beach Rats (Eliza Hittman, 2017), a Sundance Film Festival 2017 award winner; The Price (Anthony Onah, 2017), which had its world premiere at South by South by Southwest Film Festival 2017; and Don’t Leave Home (Michael Tully, 2018), which had its world premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival 2018. Sathe later produced Screwdriver (Bassam Jarbawi, 2018), which premiered at Venice International Film Festival 2018; and The Sweet Requiem (Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam, 2018), which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2018. His latest production, Slow Machine (Joe DeNardo, Paul Felten, 2020), premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor and Senior Production Advisor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA), Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) and Screenwriters Association?India (SWA).

Nusrat Imrose Tisha is Bangladesh’s leading actress. She ventured into production with No Land’s Man (Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, 2021), which was launched at Asian Project Market 2014 and went on to win the MPA-APSA Film Fund and Best Project Award at the Film Bazaar 2014. This is her second film as a producer.
Synopsis
A quiet neighborhood in a US town wakes up to many questions. Nafisa, a young Bangladeshi-American girl, finds herself faced with a burning question: how can she save herself from the heat of racial tension and at the same time be politically correct? Bryan, a young Black American police officer, is thrown right into the heart of a burning question: how to respond to a situation where his own race is being questioned? Everyone from the neighborhood is left to deal with at least a question or two. These collective questions lead to a historical answer and make heroes out of ordinary people.
Director’s Statement
The film is inspired by recent events in the US, which have opened up a space for discussion, harmony, and a call for change. But if we look at the reality on the ground, the conflict is much deeper. There is not one concrete idea of “White”, “Black” or “Brown”. There are many ideas, many conflicts, and many considerations. They require careful portrayal. The film will mainly follow two lead characters, Nafisa and Bryan, set against the recent dramatic developments in their town. Through the conflicts and resolutions of their individual characters, we will see a bigger picture of selflessness and empathy that answers all the burning questions.
Stylistically it will be a very intimate and subjective film.
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