Moshari poster. — UNB photo
The horror short “Moshari” by young Bangladeshi filmmaker Nuhash Humayun won the jury prize for best narrative short at the 2022 Atlanta Film Festival, one of the few festivals in the world to qualify for the Oscars.
The news was confirmed by Nuhash himself on his verified Facebook page on Thursday evening.
‘MOSHARI is now QUALIFYING FOR THE OSCARS! Our Bangladeshi horror film just won the Atlanta Film Festival Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short, an Oscar-qualifying award. Thank you to my amazing team, family and industry colleagues in Bangladesh and beyond for being part of this journey,” Nuhash wrote.
“Moshari” had its world premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival in March this year. The 22-minute film stars famous ‘No Dorai’ actress Sunerah Binte Kamal and Nuhash’s niece Nairah Onora Saif.
“When the world is invaded by bloodthirsty creatures, the last of mankind persevere in Dhaka by spending their nights inside the moshari (mosquito net) – the only known shelter from the unknown threat. Two sisters, Apu (Sunehra) and Ayra (Nairah), must navigate this strange new world to survive.
“However, their strained relationship becomes as much of a threat as the dangers outside. One night, as Ayra’s curiosity lures her out of the safety of the moshari, Apu must seize the opportunity – as they face their demons, together,” according to the synopsis described on the film’s official website.
Describing the film nominated for the award, the ALTFF jury said: “Working with familiar horror elements, Moshari “constructs a totally startling story at the edge of your seat that brings the socio-political realities of the world real in a unique and brilliant world.”
“I wanted to capture our strange relationship with the moshari – a metaphor for both safety and suffocation. The specific mix of fear, wonder and mystery of being a Bangladeshi child who relentlessly stings the moshari wondering what’s on the other side. These emotions have existed for generations in the form of folk tales and primal fears, but not in a cinematic space – not yet,’ Nuhash described his motive behind this film in the ‘Director’s Note’ section on the film’s official website. .
“It took more than ten years from the initial seed of the idea to grow into our film, a family drama in the guise of Bengali horror,” he added.
In addition to winning the award at the 2022 ATLFF, ‘Moshari’ was also selected for the Marché du Film-Festival de Cannes as well as the Fantastic 7 segment of the SITGES Festival International de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya.
Since 1976, the ALTFF has presented a diverse lineup of independent films, with a particular focus on films directed by women, LGBTQ films, Latin American films, black films and films from the American Southeast.
This year’s festival was held from April 21 to May 1, 2022.