The Daily Star – “Ironeaters” wins first prize at the One-World Award 2007

18 September 2007 – Berlin-based Bangladeshi filmmaker Shaheen Dill-Riaz’s feature-length documentary film Ironeaters (Lohakhor) — a joint collaboration of Bangladeshi and German teams — has received the prestigious “One-World Award NRW 2007” in Cologne, Germany yesterday evening, says a press release.

Dill-Riaz could not attend the event as he is currently in Dhaka, shooting his new film. German Producer Kathrin Lemme received the award on behalf of Dill-Riaz from the Minister for Health, Family and Integration of the Nordrheihn-Westfalen state, Armin Laschet.

Sound recordist Abdus Satter Ripon was the only member of the Bangladeshi team who attended the award-giving programme. The award includes a cash amount of 3000 Euro and a trophy. Ironeaters has been selected as the best film from a pool of 200 films from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The second and third prize went to the Swiss film The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez by Heidi Specogna and the German film Roaming Around by Brigitte Bertele respectively.

Ironeaters zooms in on the living and working conditions of the workers at ship-breaking yard in Shitakunda, Chittagong. The film is written and directed Shaheen Dill-Riaz. He is also the cinematographer of the film. Other members of the Bangladeshi team are: Shabnam Ferdousi (assistant director), Lawrence Apu Rozario (Unit-2 camera), Abdus Satter Ripon (sound recordist and sound designer), Mejbah Uddin Feroz (sound assistant) and Zahidul Karim Selim (still photographer).

Appreciating the film, the jury remarked, “The sublime commentary of the director in the film expressed the involvement in the daily lives of the workers through an extraordinary close observation. The excellent cinematography and compact editing made the whole film a very intensive experience for the audience.”

The film was screened after the prize-giving ceremony. Dill-Riaz answered questions following the screening via telephone from Dhaka. The film has also been selected to compete at the Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival (Portugal), International Human Rights Film Festival in Nürnberg, (Germany), Environmental Film Festival in Wiesbaden (Germany), Film South Asia in Kathmandu (Nepal) and Sau Paulo International Film Festival (Brazil). The film is expected to have its Bangladesh premiere next February.

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