Film on Bangladesh's `Biharis' to show at Nepal fest | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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Film on Bangladesh's `Biharis' to show at Nepal fest

entertainment Updated: Aug 17, 2009 18:12 IST
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A documentary that portrays the fears of Bangladesh's Urdu-speaking populace, also known as `Biharis', will compete for honours at the seventh Film South Asia festival in Kathmandu next month.

Tanvir Mokammel's "Swapnobhumi" (The Promised Land) narrates the woes of the Biharis and their dream of a better life.

The 90-minute documentary is a story about the community in Bangladesh, who are also known as 'Stranded Pakistanis'.

The terms Urdu-speakers, 'Non-Bengalees' and Biharis are used interchangeably to refer to Muslims who originally emigrated from India to the newly-created East Pakistan in 1947 and afterwards.

At present about 160,000 people from this community live in 116 camps or settlements all over Bangladesh.

They have opted to be Bangladesh citizens after over three decades and voted in the last general election.

Film South Asia '09 will feature 36 films from South Asian countries. The best film will be conferred with the Ram Bahadur award and receive a cash prize of $2,000.

The organisers will also select a new film for the Best Debut Film award.

Film South Asia, which features only documentaries, was inaugurated in 1997 and has been held biennially in the capital of the Himalayan country.