By T K
“Photo photo”, the men called out to the TWC2 volunteers to help take pictures, as they lined up beside the movie director, chests out, shoulders squared and faces to the lens.
This was at the screening of “Television (2012)” by Bangladeshi film director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. The film was among several in the listing of Perspectives Film Festival: Breakthroughs in Cinema — an annual film event organized by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Keen to bring this filmic experience to the migrant Bangladeshi community residing in Singapore, the organisers of the festival contacted Transient Workers Count Too. TWC2 had a perfect vehicle for this: Discover Singapore, a project that organises regular outings for workers who have been injured or laid off. “Television” thus became Discover’s outing with the highest participation so far. Forty-one migrant workers signed up — the maximum capacity of our excursion bus — eager to watch a movie in Bengali in Singapore and to catch a glimpse of the movie director and actor.
Before the screening, the migrant workers enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner. Film director Mostofa and actor Shahir Huda Rumi appeared and mingled with the audience. Many were seen snapping photos with them.
Besides our busload of TWC2 registered migrant workers, Perspectives had also invited around 100 Bangladeshi workers from the Boon Lay/Pioneer area.
“Movie funny. Actor and actress good. Everybody like.” Nazimul, our outing coordinator said. “I never expected to watch Bengali movie and see movie director, actor in Singapore”, he continued. This would probably be Nazimul’s final outing with Discover Singapore. His case is finally closed after a period of slightly over a year — he was injured in August 2012 — and he will be going home in this month.
After the movie, the men evidently impressed with Sahir’s powerful acting skills, crowded around the him for more photos. The director had left earlier to catch a flight to Seoul, Korea, for the Busan Film festival.
Mr Eternality Tan, Perspectives Film Festival Course Coordinator, commented: “The organizing team is very delighted with the turnout; seeing happy faces before, during and after the screening is fantastic.”