Interview with Proshoon Rahmaan

We speak with Proshoon Rahmaan about his many capacities, the film, women in South Asian, Bangladeshi cinema and many other topics.


Proshoon Rahmaan is a Dhaka-based independent filmmaker.  He graduated from Dhaka University with a degree in social sciences and later he studied filmmaking at home and abroad, and also worked as assistant director to Tareque Masud. Apart from directing, he has also written novels, short stories, poetry, lyrics, essays, columns, reviews and screenplays. "Sutopar Thikana" (Her Own Address) is his debut feature film.

We speak with him about his many capacities, the film, women in South Asian, Bangladeshi cinema and many other topics.


"Her Own Address" is your debut feature film. Can you tell us about the path that lead to it? 

It took a decade to prepare myself for a feature film. There were 5 original screenplays I’ve written, but I was confused to decide which one should be the first feature project. I’m a writer turned filmmaker. When I realized that film is the strongest medium where I can deliver my creative effort in order to reach around the globe, avoiding language barriers, I’ve chosen the story which features the least dialogue and tells the story of my own soil, own people, who are the most important in our lives. Also, this content has the strength to delight, to educate, to entertain, to instruct and to engage.

Tareque Masud was your teacher. Tell us about your cooperation with him.

I’ve joined Tareque Masud at 2007 as associate, after completing my academic film education, and worked with him consistently for 4 years till his accidental death in a tragic road accident in 2011. We’ve worked together in 2 features (1 undone), 1 short feature and 3 documentary projects. He was not only my teacher; he was my friend, philosopher and guide. I’m carrying his legacy and his given torch in the race to present
our cultural progress and to establish cinema culture as serious work of art.

Regarding "Her Own Address", you directed, adapted the script from your own novel and even wrote the lyrics of the songs heard in it. Why did you concentrate all these capacities to yourself? 

Filmmaking is such a profession where a filmmaker has to know or keep knowledge about almost everything. But  as I said before, I am a  writer turned filmmaker. I’m in practice with every medium of literature. I’ve written novels, short stories, poetry, lyrics, essays, columns, reviews and screenplays. So it was the ultimate decision that all the text would come from me. I’m also working as assistant to me. I believe that’s how an independent filmmaker grows and keeps himself as independent and finally considered as an `Author Filmmaker’.

The film presents a rather pointy comment about the lives of women in S. Asia. Why did you choose that topic, and what is your opinion of the lives of women in Bangladesh today? In one of the strongest scenes in the film, Sutopa is actually graded by her future father in law and a director of a school. Is this an event based on actual tendencies?



Almost 50% of our population is women. And more than 80% of them are living under insecurity of displacement. This displacement involves their known places, their own positions  They always remain dependant on their father, brother, husband and son, in different stages of their lives and they carry that sense of displacement until their life ends. This state/condition is almost the same in all over  South Asia, with some exceptions in urban settings.

The sequence we see in the interview session of Sutopa as potential bride is authentically based on true events. Arranged marriage is the common practice for 90% of the region, and the bride-choosing process still retains all the essence of inhumanity and humiliation.

Music seems to play a very important role in the film. Can you explain this tactic?

Bangladesh is such a country where you will find music everywhere. People depend on music to express their every emotion. Almost every profession has a different genre of music to practice. Also, in subcontinental cinema you will find the song in the lips of  the characters, as they express their inner feelings, and it’s widely expected and appreciated by the audience.

In "Sutopar Thikana" (Her Own Address) you will not find the song in their lips; however it is a part of the storytelling, since the lyrics also carry the story forward as part of poetic narration.

Why did you choose to include narration in the film?

Poetry is also admired in our country, as much as music does. The tale of Sutopar Thikana (Her Own Address) is based on my own long poetry where the story is being described like a ballad, with very few dialogues. When I chose that poetic story to adapt as a screenplay, I kept 50% of those lines as poetic narration, to complete the information I wanted to give in the film. This way,  the narrative featured a unique and fresh approach to our traditional practices of storytelling.

I believe a strong image is good enough to make a point, but audio also has the power to make every emotion more intense and support the visual in the best way possible. And poetry is the strongest.


Aparna Ghosh is rather impressive as Sutopa. What was the casting process for the film? In general, what do you search for in the actors you cast?

For this certain character, I was looking for someone who is able to portray the 3 main stages of a women’s life. She had to portray the adolescent period of a girl, middle age of a housewife and old age of a mother. I’ve seen Aparna Ghosh act as a middle aged housewife and she was very good  At the period of the screen tests,  we saw her as a girl and as an old lady with the help of makeup and corresponding costumes. She was only 26 when we cast her at 2014,  so it was little challenging to make her look 17, but she becomes 40 and 50 effortlessly, with her natural talent. The rest were seen on the screen.

What is your opinion of the Bangladeshi film industry at the moment? 

There used to be 1200 movie theaters all over the country for mainstream cinema. Now there are only 250. In this digital era, the Multiplex has become the dominant medium, but this culture is yet to be built and remains under threat from the broken infrastructure.

A lot of films are being prepared here everyday from the new age filmmakers. They are practicing in international standards and their films are part of almost all the leading festivals around the globe. But they are all struggling with distribution and screening. Creative films are finding their places in the international arena to declare the strong existence of Bangladeshi Cinema.

Who has influenced you the most as a filmmaker? Which are your favorite movies?

Satyajit Roy is the main influence for almost every Bengali filmmaker. For me, the second most important is Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami and the other one is, off course, Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud.

There are a lot of movies I can name in my favorites' list. Most of them are from Satyajit Roy, Abbas Kiarostami, Yasijuru Oju, Akira Kurosawa and some from other Iranian, Korean & Japanese filmmakers. There are a lot of movie in my watching list from almost everywhere.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

Presently I’m working on my second feature project titled `Dhaka Dream,’ which is at production level now. The story is dealing with a city which is already overpopulated and with the dreams of rural people, who have no other choices but to come there.

` Dhaka Dream’ is the first part of the `Dhaka Trilogy’ and my dream is to see the trilogy completed. (www.dhakatrilogy.com)

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Lee Sang-il,1,Rahul Jain,1,Railway Sleepers,1,Rainy Dog,1,Raja Mukhriz,1,Rajkumar Gupta,1,Ram,1,Ram Gopal Varma,1,Randy Mckenzie,4,Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead,1,Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead 2,1,Ravine of Goodbye,1,Re:Born,1,Real,1,Realism,1,Red Beard,1,Red Persimmons,1,Reipu zonbi: Lust of the dead 3,1,Resistance at Tule Lake,1,Respeto,2,Resurrection,1,Revenge: A love story,1,Review,8,Reviews,294,Reviews.,2,Reviews. Panos Kotzathanasis,1,Rima Das,1,Riri Riza,3,Ritwik Ghatak,2,River of Exploding Durians,2,River's Edge,2,Robin Weng,1,Roger Lee,2,Roman Porno,1,Ronja,1,Rouge,1,Roya Sadat,2,Running on Karma,1,Russia,1,RV: Resurrected Victims,1,Ryoo Seung-wan,1,Ryota Sakamaki,1,Ryu Kaneda,1,Ryuki,1,Ryutaro Ninomiya,2,S. Korea,73,S.Korea,2,Saayak Santra,9,Sabrina Baracetti,1,Sabu,3,Sade Sato,1,Salaam Bombay,1,Samui Song,1,San Diego Asian Film Festival,13,San Diego Film Festival,1,Sanjay Leela Bhansali,2,Sanjeewa Pushpakumara,2,Sankha Ray,30,Sarita Khurana,1,Satan's Slaves,3,Satoru Hirohara,1,Satoshi Kon,3,Satya,1,Satyajit Ray,1,Say Yes,1,Sayandeep Bandyopadhyay,6,Scarlet Heart,1,Score,1,Sea Fog,1,Seijun Suzuki,3,Sekigahara,1,Serga Mathang,1,Sexy S.W.A.T. Team,1,Sha Po Lang,1,Shake Rattle and Roll,1,Shakti Sounder Rajan,1,Shanjhey Kumar Perumal,1,Shanker Raman,1,Shaw Brothers,2,She Remembers He Forgets,2,She's the Boss,1,Shehjar,1,Shiboprosad Mukherjee,1,Shift,2,Shigeru Umebayashi,1,Shikhar Verma,13,Shikhar Verna,3,Shim Sung-Bo,1,Shinichi Fukazawa,1,Shinji Somai,2,Shinji Sômai,1,Shinjuku Swan,1,shinjuku Swan II,1,Shinjuku Triad Society,1,Shinobi no Kuni,2,Shinsuke Ogawa,1,Shinsuke Sato,2,Shinya Tsukamoto,4,Shireen Seno,2,Shirley Abraham,1,Shock Wave,1,Shôhei Imamura,1,Shoot for the Contents,1,Shorts,7,Shotaro Kobayashi,1,Shu Qi,1,Shuna Iijima,1,Shunji Iwai,2,Shutter,1,Shuttle Life,2,Shyam Ramsay,1,Siddiq Ahamed,1,Sidharth Bharathan,1,Sidi Saleh,1,Signature,1,Silent Mist,1,Silver Spleen,2,Singapore,3,Singh Anand,1,Singing Chen,1,Sinophone,1,Sion Sono,10,Siti,1,Sixth Sense Hooker,1,Slavemen,1,Sleep Curse,1,Small Talk,2,Smriti Mundhra,1,Sogo Ishii,2,Solanin,1,Solitude,1,Solo,1,Someone To Talk To,1,Sompot Chidgasompongse,2,Song Hae-sung,1,Song Kang-ho,1,Song of the Week,22,Sopawan Boonnimitra,1,Sopon Sakdapisit,1,Soul,1,Soul Mate,1,SoulMate,2,South Korea,21,Sri Lanka,3,Sridevi,1,Srijit Mukherji,7,Stammering Ballad,1,Stanley Kwan,1,Stanley Tong,1,Steel Rain,1,Stephen Chow,1,Stephen Fung,2,Steve James,1,Still the Water,1,Stoneman Murders,1,Story in Taipei,1,Strange Circus,1,Studio Ghibli,1,StudioCanal,4,Subenja Pongkorn,2,Suffering of Ninko,2,Sugihara Survivors: Jewish and Japanese,1,Suicide Club,1,Suman Mukhopadhay,1,Summer Snow,1,Sun-ho Cho,1,Sunao Katabuchi,3,Sunday Beauty Queen,1,Sung-hong Kim,1,Sunk Into the Womb,1,Susumu Hirasawa,1,Sweating the Small Stuff,2,Tadashi Nagayama,1,Tae Guk Gi,1,Tag,1,Taiwan,27,Takaaki Hashiguchi,1,Takahide Hori,1,Takahiro Miko,1,Takahisa Zeze,1,Takao Nakano,1,Takaomi Ogata,4,Takashi Miike,10,Take Care of My Cat,1,Take Off,1,Takeo Kikuchi,2,Takeshi Kaneshiro,1,Takeshi Kitano,1,Takuro Nakamura,2,Talop Wangchuk,1,Tamil,4,Tamura Senichi,1,Tang Seng Kiat,2,Tanit Jitnukul,1,Tanvir Ashraf,2,Taste of Rice Flower,2,Tatara Samurai,1,Tatsuhi Omori,1,Tatsumi,1,Tatsumi Kumashiro,1,Teddy Soeriaatmadja,1,Teenkahon,1,Teppei Nakamura,1,Tetsuo the Iron Man,1,Tetsuya Mariko,1,Tetsuya Nakashima,1,Thailand,21,Thanatos Drunk,1,That's It,1,The Adventurers,2,The Apology,1,The Bad,1,The Blue Redemption,1,The Boy and the Beast,3,The boy from Ipanema,1,The Brink,1,The Chase,1,The Cinema Travellers,1,The Crawler in the Attic,1,The Crazy Family,1,The Day After,1,The Detective,1,The Discloser,1,The Dollhouse,1,The elephant and the sea,2,The Executioner,1,The Eye's Dream,1,The Forest Whispers,1,The Forsaken Land,1,The Fortress,1,The Gangster's Daughter,1,The Girl Who Never Knew War,1,The Golden Fortress,1,The Good,1,The Great Buddha+,1,The Great Passage,1,The Hole,1,The Hungry Lion,1,The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles,2,The Inugami Family,1,The Iron Ministry,1,The Island That All Flow By,1,The Isthmus,1,The Kid from the Big Apple,1,The King of Pigs,1,The Last Executioner,1,The Last Painting,1,The Long Excuse,1,The Looming Storm,1,The Lowlife,1,The Magic Blade,1,The Man Without a Map,1,The Mayor,1,The Merciless,2,The Mermaid,1,The Muse,1,The Naked Island,1,The Name,1,The Net,1,The Night of the Earthquake,1,The Outlaws,1,The Prison,1,The Promise,1,The Raid,1,The Raid 2,1,The recipe,1,The Road Home,1,The Road to Mandalay,1,the Robber's Daughter,1,The Room,1,The Sacrament,1,The Salesman,1,The Seen and Unseen,1,The Shoot Must Go On,1,The Sleep Curse,1,The Sower,2,The Story of the Disappearance of Maryam,1,The Strange Saga of Hiroshi the Freeloading Sex Machine,1,The Swindlers,1,The Table,1,The Third Murder,1,The Thousand Faces of Dunjia,1,The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale,1,The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue,1,The Tooth and the Nail,1,The Truth Beneath,1,The Vanished,1,The Villainess,3,The Violin Player,1,The Way We Are,1,The Weird,1,The Windmill Palm Grove,1,Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru,1,Third WIndow,1,This Is Not What I Expected,1,This Is Not What I Expected!,1,Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum,1,Three Sisters,1,Three Times,1,Tiffany Hsiung,1,Tik Tik Tik,1,Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan,1,Tokyo Ghoul,1,Tokyo Heaven,1,Tokyo Idols,1,Tokyo Vampire Hotel,1,Tolerance Film Festival,1,Tom Waller,2,Tony Leung,1,Tony Takitani,1,Torico,2,Toronto International Film Festival,1,Toshiaki Toyoda,2,Toshihisa Yokoshima,3,Toshimasha Kobayashi,1,Toshio Matsumoto,1,Toshiya Fujita,1,Town in a Lake,1,Traces of Sin,1,Trailers,84,Train to Busan,1,Tran Ham,1,Translated articles,1,Trapped,1,Travellers and Magicians,1,Treb Monteras II,2,Trinh T. Minh-Ha,3,Triple Threat,1,True Fiction,1,Tsai Ming-liang,2,Tulsi Ramsay,1,Twenty Two,1,Twilight Dinner,1,Twitch: You Are My Toy,1,Typhoon Club,1,Udine,1,Um Tae-hwa,1,Unbowed,1,Uncovered,1,Up Down and Sideways,1,V.I.P.,1,Vagabond,1,Vaishali Sinha,1,Vampire Cleanup Department,2,Vanishing Time A Boy Who Returned,1,Vannaphone Sitthirath,1,various,2,Varnyathil Aashanka,1,Verena Paravel,1,Vesoul International Film Festival,20,Victor Vu,1,Vidya Balan,1,Vietnam,6,Vikram Zushi,1,Vikramaditya Motwane,1,Village Rockstars,1,Vimukthi Jayasundara,1,Vinay Shukla,1,Vincent Kok,1,Violated Angels,1,Visitor Q,1,Vital,1,Vitaly Mansky,1,Vivien Qu,1,Voyage to Terengganu,1,Wai Ka-fai,1,Walk on Girl,1,Walking Past the Future,1,Wang Bing,3,Wang Chao,2,Wang Lung-wei,1,Wang Ming-tai,1,Warriors of the Dawn,2,We Make Antiques,1,Weeds on Fire,1,Wei-Hao Cheng,1,Wellgo USA,2,West North West,2,What a Man Wants,1,What A Wonderful Family 2,1,What Time Is It There?,1,Whispering Corridors,1,Whispering Star,1,White Sun,1,Who Killed Cock Robin,1,Whore Angel,1,Wilson Yip,1,Wiman Rizkidarajat,1,Wine War,1,Winter Vacation,1,With Prisoners,1,Without Memory,1,Wol-Ha: Very Bad Moon Rising,1,Woman of the Lake,1,Won Shin-Yeon,1,Wong Chun,3,Wong Jing,2,Wong Kar-wai,2,Woo Ming Jin,1,Xaisongkham Induangchanthy,1,Xu Bing,1,Ya-che Yang,1,Yamato (California),4,Yan Pak Wing,2,Yang Chao,2,Yang Ik-june,1,Yang Jong-hyeon,1,Yang Woo-seok,1,Yao Tian,1,Yash Chopra,1,Yeon Sang-ho,2,Yes Madam,1,Yeti Obhijaan,2,Yin Liang,1,Yiu-wai Chu,1,Yoji Yamada,1,Yoo Ha,1,Yoon-chul chung,1,Yoonsuk Jung,1,Yosep Anggi Noen,1,Yoshihiro Hanno,1,Yoshihiro Nakamura,2,Yoshihiro Nishimura,3,Yoshimasa Jimbo,1,Yoshinari Nishikori,1,Yoshishige Yoshida,1,Yoshitaka Mori,1,Yoshiyuki Kishi,1,Yosuke Takeuchi,2,Yotsuya kaidan,1,You Losers!,1,Your Name,1,Youth,1,Yu Aoi,2,Yu Irie,1,Yu Sang-wook,1,Yuen Chor,1,Yuen Woo-ping,1,Yuji Shimomura,1,Yûji Tajiri,2,Yujiro Harumoto,2,Yuki Tanada,1,Yukihiko Tsutsumi,2,Yukuhiro Morigaki,2,Yusaku Matsumoto,2,Yutaka Ikejima,3,Yutaro Nakamura,1,Yuya Ishii,2,Zakka Films,2,Zhang Lu,1,Zhang Nan,1,Zhang Yimou,1,Zig Dulay,1,Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight,1,Zoo,1,Zuairijah Mou,1,Zuri Rinpoche. Bhutan. Five Flavours,1,
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Asian Film Vault: Interview with Proshoon Rahmaan
Interview with Proshoon Rahmaan
We speak with Proshoon Rahmaan about his many capacities, the film, women in South Asian, Bangladeshi cinema and many other topics.
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Asian Film Vault
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