SonyLIV has acquired exclusive streaming rights to acclaimed Bangladeshi films “Hawa” and “Saturday Afternoon” from Reliance Entertainment and Continental Entertainment PTE Ltd (CEPL).
Directed by Mejbaur Rahman Sumon, “Hawa” follows the journey of an all-men team on a fishing trawler, whose routine is disrupted when they haul in a mysterious catch. The cast is led by hugely popular star Chanchal Chowdhury and includes Nazifa Tushi, Sariful Islam Razz, Sumon Anowar, Nasir Uddin Khan and Shohel Mondol. The film was Bangladesh’s entry to the Oscars and is one of the highest grossers from the country having also found distribution in India, Singapore and the Middle East. It will premiere July 7 on SonyLIV.
“Saturday Afternoon,” Bengali-and-English-language film directed by Bangladeshi auteur Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, takes its cue from the brutal terrorist attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka in 2016, which took place on a quiet Saturday and left more than 20 people dead. It had considerable festival play, winning awards at Fukuoka, Moscow and Vesoul.
The film was initially banned and had finally been cleared for release in January after a four-year struggle with the Bangladesh Film Censor Board. However, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting took a U-turn. The film opened theatrically in the U.S. and Canada in March.
Saugata Mukherjee, head of content, SonyLIV, said: “We are delighted to partner with Reliance Entertainment and CEPL to bring ‘Hawa’ and ‘Saturday Afternoon’ to our viewers. These two captivating films add to our already sparkling roster of thought-provoking cinema from different parts of India and the globe. At SonyLIV, we remain committed to delivering compelling content and be the home for the most exciting voices from across the world. “
Sreyashii Sengupta, CEO, Southeast Asia, CEPL, added: “This collaboration with SonyLIV and Reliance Entertainment to showcase ‘Hawa’ and ‘Saturday Afternoon’ is a beginning of slew of films from South Asia for us at CEPL and furthering cross-border distribution models and accessibility of content. A wider audience in India will now enjoy diverse films from Bangladesh which have gripping stories and reflect the different genres of film making from a variety of directors. We believe that this partnership will create a significant impact on the film industry and contribute to fostering cultural exchange.”
The exchange has already begun with Shah Rukh Khan’s “Pathaan” becoming the first Indian film to release in Bangladesh after a long drought. It scored major box office success there.