Bangladesh Embassy in Manila organized a 3-day long ‘Bangla Film and Food Festival’ in collaboration with UP Film Institute.

The vibrant cultural tapestry of Bangladesh unfolded at the University of the Philippines from May 06 to 08 May 2024 as the Bangladesh Embassy in Manila, in collaboration with the UP Film Institute, arranged a 03-day ‘Bangla Film & Food Festival’ at the UP Film Center. The festival celebrated the rich cultural heritage of Bangladesh by showcasing its outstanding films and delectable culinary traditions.

The festival kicked off with a formal ceremony in the afternoon of 06 May, with His Excellency F. M. Borhan Uddin, Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines, and Prof. Robert Rownd jointly inaugurating the event by cutting the ribbons. Distinguished guests from various sectors graced the opening ceremony, including officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, esteemed faculty members from the University of the Philippines, media personalities, members of the Bangladesh community, and a larger number of enthusiastic UP students.

In welcoming remarks, Prof. Robert Rownd emphasized the significant strides made by the Bangladeshi film industry in recent years. He underscored the festival’s commitment to present diverse Bangladeshi cinema, offering viewers a deeper insight into the country’s culture.

Ambassador Uddin, in his remarks, emphasized the profound significance of cultural exchange in fostering mutual understanding and appreciation between the two friendly countries. He underscored the festival’s role as a platform for showcasing Bangladesh’s cinematic brilliance and presenting its rich culinary heritage to a global audience. “We are delighted to inaugurate the Bangla Film and Food Festival, a celebration of Bangladesh’s cultural richness and culinary expertise,” said Ambassador Uddin. “Through the medium of cinema and cuisine, we aim to forge deeper bonds of friendship and understanding, inviting our guests to embark on a sensory journey through the heart and soul of Bangladesh”. He concluded his address by acknowledging the festival’s role in strengthening bilateral ties between Bangladesh and the Philippines, expressing gratitude to Prof. Rownd, the entire UPFI team, and looking forward to continued collaboration.

The inaugural movie screened on the first day was ‘Mujib: The Making of a Nation’, depicting the life of Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and his significant contributions to the independence of Bangladesh. The opening day ended with a lavish spread of traditional Bangladeshi cuisine, featuring popular dishes like Aloo Chop, Samosa, Shami Kebab, Chicken Biryani, Kacchi Biryani, Egg Korma, Rosogolla, Kalojam, Golapjam, Puli Pitha, Patishapta, Fuchka, and many more.

The 04 other movies screened during the festival were ‘The Beauty Circus’, ‘Adventure of Sundarbans’, ‘Rickshaw Girl’ and ‘The Salt In Our Waters’. The festival attracted an overwhelming turnout of more than 800 guests during its three-day run which underlined the growing interest of Filipino people in Bangladeshi culture.

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