Bangladeshi director wins award for Meherjaan

Kolkata: Debutante Bangladeshi filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain has won the prestigious Orson Wells Award for her debut feature film `Meherjaan`, which stars Indian actors Victor Banerjee and Jaya Bachchan.

The award was announced recently during the Tiburon International Film Festival in California, the producers said in a release.

The Orson Wells Award is given to a newcomer to encourage aspiring and independent filmmakers from all over the world to bring a new wave of talent and creativity to the art of cinema.

`Meherjaan` is about a Bangladeshi woman`s affair with a Pakistani soldier in the backdrop of the 1971 Liberation War.

Released last year, the film was abruptly withdrawn from theatres in the neighbouring country after a section of intellectuals and freedom fighters alleged that the film distorts the history of the war.

"The fact that `Meherjaan` was not allowed to be screened in Bangladesh is something I still regret, and no amount of foreign awards or festival screenings can make up for that loss," Hossain told PTI from Dhaka.

The film has received critical appreciation and awards at various film festivals like Moondance International Film Festival and Silent River Film Festival and was screened at the Kolkata Film Festival (KFF) last year.