The Info List - Tareque Masud

--- Advertisement ---

Tareque Masud (6 December 1956 – 13 August 2011)[2] was a Bangladeshi independent film director, film producer, screenwriter and lyricist. He first found success with the films Muktir Gaan (1995)[3] and Matir Moina (2002),[4] for which he won three international awards, including the International Critics' FIPRESCI Prize, in the Directors' Fortnight section outside competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[5] The film became Bangladesh's first film to compete for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He died in a road accident on 13 August 2011 while returning to Dhaka from Manikganj on the Dhaka-Aricha highway after visiting a filming location.[6] Masud was working on Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower).[7][8] In 2012, he posthumously received Ekushey Padak, the highest civilian award of Bangladesh.[9] In 2013, New York University Asian/Pacific/American Institute, and South Asia Solidarity Initiative, hosted the first North American retrospective of his films.[10]


1 Background 2 Early career 3 Major films

3.1 Muktir Gaan (1995) 3.2 Matir Moina (2002) 3.3 Ontarjatra (2006) 3.4 Runway (2010)

4 Death 5 Awards

5.1 Awards

6 Collaborations 7 Recurring themes 8 Filmography

8.1 Rotten Tomatoes ratings

9 Personal life 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

Background[edit] Masud was born in Nurpur village, Bhanga Upazila, Faridpur District, East Pakistan in 1956. Masud grew up in Nurpur village. He started his education in an Islamic madrasah. He studied in the madrassa system for eight years, till the upheaval brought about by the 9-month Liberation War interrupted his education. After the war, he entered general education, completing his HSC from Notre Dame College and completed his master's degree in History from the University of Dhaka. Tareque was involved in the film society movement from his university days and started his first film, Adam Surat (The Inner Strength), a documentary on the Bangladeshi painter SM Sultan, in 1982. His 1995 feature-length documentary on the 1971 Liberation War, Muktir Gaan (Song of Freedom), brought record audiences and became a cult classic. He also made many other films on the war, including Muktir Kotha (Words of Freedom, 1999), Narir Kotha (Women and War, 2000) and Naroshundor (The Barbershop, 2009). In 2002, he completed his feature film Matir Moina (The Clay Bird), which was based on his childhood experience in the madrassa. As a part of his filmmaking work, he was a pioneer of the independent film movement in Bangladesh. In 1986, Tareque was a founding member of Bangladesh Short Film Forum, the leading platform for independent filmmakers in Bangladesh. In 1988, he organized the country's first International Short and Documentary Film Festival, which is held on a biannual basis to this day. He was also known as the "Cinema Feriwalla" for the way in which he showed his films, touring remote towns and villages throughout the country with his mobile projection unit.[11] His wife, American-born film editor Catherine Masud, was his creative and life partner. They met at the time he was completing work on Adam Surat and spent the next two decades making films together through their production house Audiovision. Together they wrote scripts, often co-directed, and toured the country and the world with their films. Catherine Masud also edited all of their work.[11] Early career[edit]

From left; Masud, Bashar and Murshed (Moviyana film activists) at the show of Runway in Sylhet. Masud took a challenge to release the film in the divisional cities before releasing in Dhaka.

Masud's first film was the documentary Adam Surat (Inner Strength) on the Bangladeshi painter SM Sultan which he completed in 1989. His most famous film in early age of his career was the documentary Muktir Gaan (The Song of Freedom, 1995) where camera follows a music troupe during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. The members of the troupe sing songs to inspire freedom fighters. His first full-length feature film, Matir Moina ("The Clay Bird", 2002) which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, derives inspiration from his own childhood experiences. He won the International Critic's Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 for this film,[5] as well as the FIPRESCI Prize for Directors' Fortnight for "its authentic, moving and delicate portrayal of a country struggling for its democratic rights."[12] Matir Moina was received with critical praise and toured the international circuit. It was one of the first Bangladeshi films to be widely circulated and was greeted with enthusiasm for its realistic depiction of life without the melodrama that is prevalent in many other South Asian films. His film, Ontarjatra ("Homeland", 2006), featured two generations of Bangladeshi diaspora in London and their return to Bangladesh. His next feature film, Runway (2010) was about the influence of radical religious teachings on a young boy, caught between many modernistic. Masud's last unfinished project was Kagojer Phool ("The Paper Flower"), about the partition of the Indian subcontinent. This film has become a prequel to Matir Moina ("The Clay Bird", 2002). Major films[edit] Muktir Gaan (1995)[edit] Main article: Muktir Gaan This historic film, completed in 1995 tells the true story of a troupe of singers traveling through the refugee camps and zones of war during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The film blends documentary and fictional genres in a musical structure to tell the story of the birth of a nation and the ideals of secularism and tolerance on which it was founded. The filmmakers combined footage of the cultural troupe and their activities, shot by American filmmaker Lear Levin in 1971, with historic footage collected and purchased additional footage from various international archives to craft the documentary film 'Muktir Gaan' (Song of Freedom). In 1990, Tareque and Catherine tracked down Levin and, using his 20-hours of historic material. During the War of Independence from West Pakistan (now Pakistan) in 1971, a group of patriotic cultural activists joined together in a common cause. They came from various backgrounds as writers, painters, singers, and stage actors. Together they traveled through the refugee and battle zones, performing songs and puppet plays that expressed the deep emotions of Bengalis toward their land and culture. For the millions of refugees in India and the freedom fighters on the war-front, these popular songs and plays were and endless source of inspiration.[13] The daily encounters and experiences of the cultural troupe, known as the Bangladesh Mukti Shangrami Shilpi Shangstha (Bangladesh Freedom Struggle Cultural Squad), were captured on celluloid by Lear Levin and his crew.[14] The traveling troupe became the vehicle through which the wartime struggle could be seen. "Muktir Gaan", completed 24 years later, invaluable footage lay in storage in the basement of filmmaker Lear Levin's house in New York.[13] The film was adopted with some Cultural Squad Members, Mahmudur Rahman Babu, Shaheen Samad, Tariq Ali, Naila Khan, Lubna Marium, Sharmin Murshid, Swapan Chawdhury, Bipul Bhattacharya, Dulal Chanda Shil, Debabrata Chowdhury & Others. Matir Moina (2002)[edit] Main article: Matir Moina The film is set against the backdrop of unrest in East Pakistan in the late 1960s leading up to the Bangladesh War of Liberation. In this setting, a small family must come to grips with its culture, its faith, and the brutal political changes entering its small-town world. Anu, a young boy, is sent off to a madrasah by his unbendingly devout father Kazi. Anu's younger sister falls ill and dies because of Kazi's refusal to use conventional medicine. While at the madrasah, Anu befriends Rokon, an eccentric misfit in the rigorous religious school, who is forced by the teachers to undergo an exorcism by ducking in the freezing river to cure himself. Personal tragedies beset the family and tests its loyalty to the obdurate patriarch Kazi, who still believes in the religious unity of Pakistan, in the face of cruel, contradictory events. A shattering political development then changes their town, their life, and the inner dynamics of the family, including the patriarch's role. Ontarjatra (2006)[edit] Main article: Ontarjatra Ontorjatra is a Bengali intimate exploration of the complex issues of dislocation and identity in a diasporic world.[15] After 15 years in the UK, Shireen and her son Sohel return to their home in Sylhet, Bangladesh for the funeral of Sohel's father. For Shireen the homecoming allows her to make peace with her ex-husband and his family, for Sohel, the journey allows him to connect with a family and a "homeland" he has never known.[16] Runway (2010)[edit] Main article: Runway (2010 film) Cast : Faziul Haque, Rabyea Akter Moni, Ali Ahsan, Nazmul H Bacchu, Nasrin Akter Director: Tareque Masud Produced By: Catherine Masud Banner: Laser Vison Release Date: Nov 2011 Language: Bangla Runtime: 90Mins Genre: Drama Death[edit]

The Wreckage Microbus of Mishuk Munier and Tareque Masud is preserved at University of Dhaka Campus.

Masud died in a road accident near Ghior Upazila on 13 August 2011 while returning to Dhaka from Manikganj on the Dhaka-Aricha highway after visiting a shooting location. His microbus collided head-on with an oncoming passenger bus.[6] He along with the other passengers were traveling to choose shooting locations for his new film Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower), filming of which was supposed to begin after shooting locations were elected.[7] Masud was traveling with long-time co-worker Mishuk Munier, a well-known greatest cinematographer of Bangladesh, world class TV journalist and CEO of ATN News. Munier also died in the accident. The coffins of Masud and Munier were laid out in front of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka on Sunday 14 August, when thousands of Bangladeshis came to pay their last respects. Munier was also the son of the martyred Bengali intellectual Munier Chowdhury who was killed by collaborators during the liberation war of 1971. Masud's wife, Catherine, along with four others, survived the accident. Since his death, Catherine has established the Tareque Masud Memorial Trust, which is dedicated to the task of archiving and memorializing Masud's work through publications, educational projects, screening programs, and the completion of their unfinished oeuvre.[11] Awards[edit] Masud was received many international and national awards for his notable works. He received Best Film Award from Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards in 1996 and a Special Jury Prize from Festival of South Asian Documentaries in 1997 and a National Award for Documentary film Muktir Gaan. He received an International Critics' FIPRESCI Prize, in the Directors' Fortnight section outside competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[5] Best Screenplay Award from International Film Festival of Marrakech in 2002. Best Film Award from Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards, Kara Film Festival and Channel I Film Awards in 2003 from the film Matir Moina (2002). After Masud received Jury Prize from International Video Festival of India in 2003, Best Direction award from International Film Festival Bangladesh in 2006, Special Jury Award, Osian's Cinefan Festival Delhi in 2006, Meril Prothom Alo Awards in 2010 etc. In 2012, he received Ekushey Padak, the highest civilian award of Bangladesh posthumously.[9] In 2013, New York University Asian/Pacific/American Institute, and South Asia Solidarity Initiative, hosted the first North American retrospective of his films.[10] Awards[edit]

Year Film Original Title Role Notes

1995 Muktir Gaan The Song of Freedom Director Special Mention – Festival of southasian documentaries at Film South Asia, 1997[17] Best Film — Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards, 1996 National Award for Documentary, 1996

2002 Muktir Kotha Words of Freedom Director Best Narrative Documentary — Three Continents Festival, 2002

2002 Matir Moina The Clay Bird Director Bangladesh's first film to compete for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 2002 FIPRESCI Prize in section Directors' Fortnight — Cannes Film Festival, 2002[18] Best Screenplay Award[permanent dead link] — International Film Festival of Marrakech, 2002[19] Best Film — Kara Film Festival, 2003 Golden Crow Pheasant — International Film Festival of Kerala[20] Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Foreign Language Film — Directors Guild of Great Britain[21] Best Film — Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards, 2003 Best Film – Channel I Film Awards, 2003

2002 A Kind of Childhood

Director Jury Prize – International Video Festival of India, 2003

2006 Ontarjatra The Homeland Director Best Direction – International Film Festival Bangladesh, 2006 Special Jury Award — Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, 2006

2010 Runway

Director Best Film — Meril Prothom Alo Awards, 2010 2004 Nominated – Directors Guild of Great Britain, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Foreign Language Film

Collaborations[edit] Masud often casts certain actors more than once in his films. Masud has consistently worked with Jayanta Chattopadhyay, Mohammed Moslemuddin and Rokeya Prachy.

Actor Adam Surat (1989) Matir Moina (2002) Ontarjatra (2006) Runway (2010)

Jayanta Chattopadhyay1 Y Y Y Y

Mohammed Moslemuddin



Rokeya Prachy


Recurring themes[edit] Masud's films have recurring themes with subtexts. These include the religious conflicts between humanity and society, strong female characters, and a strong patriot movement. Filmography[edit]

Year Film Credits Reference

Director Writer


1985 Sonar Beri Yes Yes

Documentary on the oppressed condition of Bangladeshi women

1989 Adam Surat Yes Yes

(The Inner Strength) (16mm, 54 mins); Documentary on the life and art of the Bangladeshi painter SM Sultan

1992 Unison Yes Yes

An animated film about the unity of mankind, portrayed through religious symbols

1993 Shey Yes Yes

Fiction short about a strained reunion between a former couple

1995 Muktir Gaan Yes Yes

Feature-length documentary film about a troupe of traveling musicians during Bangladesh Liberation War. Based on footage filmed by Lear Levin

1997 Shishu Kantha Yes Yes

Documentary on working children in Bangladesh

1999 Nirapotter Namey Yes Yes

Documentary on human rights abuses of ‘safe custody’

1999 Muktir Kotha Yes Yes

Oral history documentary about experience of ordinary villagers during Bangladesh Liberation War

2000 Narir Kotha Yes Yes

Documentary on experience of women survivors of Bangladesh Liberation War

2002 Matir Moina Yes Yes

Feature film set in a madrasa in rural East Pakistan during the turbulent 1960s and the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War

2002 A Kind of Childhood Yes Yes

A documentary on the struggles of working children in Dhaka city, followed over the course of six years

2006 Ontarjatra Yes Yes

A film about a single mother returning to Bangladesh with her son to attend her former husband's funeral

2008 Kansater Pothay Yes Yes

A documentary on a successful people’s movement for electricity

2009 Noroshundor Yes Yes

Fiction short that was first film to critique the premise that all Urdu-speakers supported the Pakistan army in 1971

2010 Runway Yes Yes

A feature film about a boy’s descent into radical Islam

Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower) was an unfinished film that was to be a fictional feature set during the partition of India. Rotten Tomatoes ratings[edit]

Film T-Meter

Muktir Gaan 6%[22]

Matir Moina 89%[23]

Ontarjatra 9%[24]

Personal life[edit] Masud and Catherine Shapere have a son, Nishad Bingham Putra Masud.[25] See also[edit]

Artistic depictions of Bangladesh Liberation War Bengali cinema Cinema of Bangladesh

Film portal Speculative fiction portal


^ Punny Kabir (13 August 2012). "Revealing Tareque Masud as a lyricist". New Age. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.  ^ "Catherine Masud – Celebrating Her Cinema Feriwala's 57th Birthday". The Daily Star. 7 December 2013.  ^ Naeem Mohaiemen (2011). "An end to revisionist history?". Himal. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.  ^ Jamie Russell (3 July 2003). "The Clay Bird (Matir Moina) (2003)". BBC. Retrieved 8 February 2009.  ^ a b c Official Tareque Masud website ^ a b "Crash victims' bodies arrive, probe begins Bangladesh". bdnews24.com. 13 August 2011. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.  ^ a b তারেক মাসুদ ও মিশুক মুনীরসহ নিহত ৫ (in Bengali). Prothom-alo.com. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.  ^ সড়ক দুর্ঘটনায় মারা গেছেন তারেক মাসুদ, মিশুক মুনীরসহ ৫ জন (in Bengali). Banglanews24.com. 13 August 2011. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.  ^ a b "15 personalities receive Ekushey Padak bdnews24.com". Ns.bdnews24.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2012.  ^ a b "Tareque Masud Journey Interrupted". NYU. Retrieved 13 May 2013.  ^ a b c "About: Bio". The Official Website of Tareque Masud. Retrieved 17 May 2013.  ^ "Cannes Film Festival: 2002". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 8 February 2009.  ^ a b "Muktir Gaan". ektaonline.org. Retrieved 3 July 2013.  ^ "Tareque Masud and Muktir Gaan". news.priyo.com. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.  ^ "Ontorjatra (Homeland)". Kara Film Festival. Retrieved 3 July 2013.  ^ "About Ontarjatra/Homeland". thirdi.org. Retrieved 3 July 2013.  ^ "Film South Asia". IMDB. Retrieved 4 July 2013.  ^ "Cannes Film Festival". IMDB. Retrieved 4 July 2013.  ^ "International Film Festival of Marrakech". IMDB. Retrieved 4 July 2013.  ^ "IFFK". IMDB. Retrieved 5 July 2013.  ^ "DGGB Award". IMDB. Retrieved 4 July 2013.  ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Muktir Gaan".  ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of The Clay Bird".  ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Ontarjatra".  ^ Ahammed, Rakib (14 August 2011). "Fate puts a full stop". The Daily Star. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tareque Masud.

Tareque Masud on IMDb Works by or about Tareque Masud in libraries (WorldCat catalog) Tareque Masud at AllMovie Tareque Masud: Journey Interrupted, North American Retrospective Brochure Obituary in New York Times Official website

v t e

Tareque Masud



Adam Surat (1989) Muktir Gaan (1995) Muktir Kotha (1999) Matir Moina (2002) A Kind of Childhood (2002) Ontarjatra (2006) Runway (2010)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 42087327 LCCN: n89275400 ISNI: 0000 0000 0095 8623 SUDOC: 085684260 BNF: