Prof. Raju present Best Asian Film Award to Shinya Tsukamoto in Venice


Prof. Zakir Hossain Raju, PhD, Head of the Department of Media and Communication and Director of King Sejong Institute at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), presented the Best Asian Film Award at the 80th Venice Film International Festival on September 8, 2023. The recipient of the honour was renowned Japanese filmmaker, Shinya Tsukamoto, for his cinematic piece, "Shadow of Fire."

Earlier in the year, in recognition of his expertise and contributions to film studies, Prof. Raju was invited by the festival organizers to preside as the NETPAC jury chair for the Asian Film Competition. The Venice Film Festival, with its rich tradition of celebrating excellence in filmmaking from over 60 countries, has reintroduced the Best Asian Film Award from the 'Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema' (NETPAC) after a break of over two decades. This move is seen as a reaffirmation of the festival's commitment to the rich tapestry of Asian cinema.

On the event of declaration of the award, Prof. Raju said, “Me and my co-jury members Teresa Cavina and Houvik Habikayan, we all were mesmerized by the film 'Shadow of Fire".

In his speech, Dr. Raju added how the aftermath of war on human life has been cinematically portrayed in the film. “We know that war is a devastating affair for humankind but what happens after the war? People who survived, how did they go on with their everyday life, even how war brings change in human relationship. that was so quietly and delicately portrayed in the film by Shinya Tsukamoto”, said Dr. Raju.

Netpac, established in 1990, stands as a torchbearer for promoting Asian cinema. With its roots firmly entrenched in understanding and advocating for Asian films and filmmakers, Netpac's establishment coincided with the burgeoning phase of Asian cinema on the international platform, even when it remained largely unexplored within its own geography.

Prof. Raju's association with the global film community isn't new. He was previously the chief judge for the Asian Cinema segment at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2015 and 2020. His esteemed roles also extend to serving as a judge in eminent film festivals spanning Hawaii, South Korea, France, and Australia. With a myriad of research papers on Asian cinema to his credit, Prof. Raju's contributions to the world of films and academia are unparalleled.