The Hamlets host Q&A with award-wining Bangladeshi filmmaker Tauquir Ahmed in Brick Lane

Tauquir Ahmed speaking at Q&A hosted by The Hamlets at Masala Restaurant, Brick Lane, 01 Nov. 2017

On 1st November, The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema enjoyed a cultural scoop when it hosted Tauquir Ahmed – an acclaimed actor turned writer and director from Bangladesh.

Twenty guests, including famous Bengali actress Jayasree Kabir and Rainbow Film Society founder Mostafa Kamal, attended a special dinner at Masala Restaurant in Brick Lane to hear the filmmaker talk candidly about his career and topical issues, including modern-day slave labour and the genocide against the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

The evening started with an informal reception in the private room at Masala. Project leader and Balik Arts founder Yeşim Güzelpınar welcomed everyone and gave a brief explanation about The Hamlets, a community cinema initiative funded by Tower Hamlets Council as part of its Thriving High Streets programme.

Guests at The Hamlets Q&A with Tauquir Ahmed enjoyed a warm and informal reception at start of the evening.

The Hamlets project leader and Balik Arts founder Yeşim Güzelpınar welcomes guests.

Mostafa Kamal then introduced the star guest, giving an overview about Tauquir’s career and critically acclaimed films. Almost immediately people started to ask the film director questions, who responded warmly to each one, providing memorable anecdotes about his life and work.

The guests really enjoyed the Q&A, which could have run late into the night, but for the need for people to get home and the staff having to close the restaurant. Below is some of the feedback The Hamlets received about the night:

“It was a pleasure to attend the dinner and Q&A with Tauquir Ahmed, a highly successful person both professionally and humanly. The atmosphere was very welcoming and I was glad to be part of an intimate and interesting debate on film, culture and humanity.”

Rainbow Film Society founder Mostafa Kamal introduces acclaimed actor, writer & director Tauquir Ahmed, 01 Nov. 2017

Guests at start of Tauquir Ahmed Q&A hosted by The Hamlets at Masala Restaurant, 01 Nov 2017

“Tauquir's openness and lovely stories were impressive”

“I very much enjoyed this intimate and informal evening with its rare opportunity to learn more about Bangladeshi film. Tauquir Ahmed cares passionately about the issues of his country such as environmental pollution, women's rights or coping with one million Rohingya refugees fleeing a largely ignored genocide. Exploitation of Bangladeshi labour is another concern. One of the sentences that will stay with me is his declaration 'Bangladesh exports its people'. Tauquir revealed a fierce pride for his country's achievements, culture and film making. He has dedicated himself to creating films that are truly Bangladeshi and refuses to rely on out of context European models. A refreshing and enlightening evening. Thank you The Hamlets!”

Famous Bengali actress Jayasree Kabir at the Tauquir Ahmed Q&A at Masala Brick Lane, 01 Nov 2017

“So few people have heard about the Bangladeshi cinema, and to listen to an eloquent director from Bangladesh was a surprise opportunity. Looking forward to watching his film on the 8th.”

“Tauquir is a great speaker and I have made many new contacts from a diverse group of people.”

Lively chats at the Tauquir Ahmed Q&A hosted by The Hamlets at Masala Restaurant, 01 Nov 2017

“Tauquir said that human beings are often bad. He mentioned the events happening in Myanmar and talked about the bad treatment workers are exposed to in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia. He shared his good and bad memories from the times he spent in the UK. It was impressive that he has no anger, but instead remains hopeful while trying to reflect his observations on cruelty on screen. He is a very modest and candid person. He claimed that he is shy however he formed a strong bond with all the guests, and helped everyone enjoy the evening to the full. He has many other stories and I am really looking forward to watching them on screen or to hear from him in person at future events.”

L-R: Tauquir Ahmed with Yeşim Güzelpınar (The Hamlets/Balik Arts) and Marie Gerring (Tower Hamlets Council)


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