Film Republic, a London-based specialist sales agent, has acquired the international rights to feature debutant Rezwan Shahriar Sumit’s “The Salt in Our Waters.”
The film had its world premiere at the British Film Institute London Film Festival earlier this month, followed by its Asian premiere at the Busan Film Festival.
“The Salt in Our Waters” tells the story of an artist who leaves the bustling Bangladesh capital Dhaka to relocate to a coastal village on the Bangladeshi delta for inspiration. Welcomed by the local fishermen, the artist’s modern ideas and sculptures enchant the local chairman and the children, but not all welcome his modern approach with such open arms. Against the backdrops of environment change and the rising tide, some villagers accuse him and his works of having provoked disastrous weather patterns.
The cast includes Fazlur Rahman Babu, Shatabdi Wadud, Titas Zia, Tasnova Tamanna and Ashok Bepari. The film is shot by Chananun Chotrungroj, winner of the best cinematography award at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival for “Materna.”
The project is supported by the Spike Lee Fellowship, which offered the film’s preliminary writing grants, France’s CNC Aide aux cinémas du monde, the Torino Film Lab’s Audience Design Fund, and Bangladesh’s national film grant.
The film is a Bangladesh-France co-production between Sumit’s MyPixelStory and Ilann Girard’s Arsam International (“Cunningham,” “Lebanon”).
“Producing this film has been a journey of discovery and gratitude. We are now working on an impact campaign to raise awareness on the challenges faced by fishermen communities in South Bangladesh,” said Ilann Girard.
“‘The Salt in Our Waters’ is a very subtle story and timely film with a very big message and by an extremely talented filmmaker,” said Film Republic founder Xavier Henry-Rashid. “A clash between traditional cultures and the modern world, this film has a lot to say about the pressing environmental tipping point we find ourselves in, told through the eyes of people on the forefront.”
Film Republic’s slate includes Zurich Film Festival title “What You Don’t Know About Me,” Tallin Black Nights Film Festival and Shanghai Film Festival selection “Sasha Was Here,” and San Sebastian, London and Warsaw title “Sister.” The company specializes in arthouse fiction and cinematic documentaries.
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