Gorai Films

‘1971 Ebong Kay’ is a story of Dec 3, 1971

National Film Award-winning filmmaker Fakhrul Arefeen Khan’s upcoming silver screen venture titled ‘1971 Ebong Kay’ will give the viewers a glimpse into the heroic actions of French citizen Jean Kay on December 3, 1971. Kay hijacked a flight of Pakistan International Airlines at Orly airport in France and demanded that 20 tonnes of medical supplies and relief materials be loaded on the plane so that he could set out to reach his desired destination — Bangladesh.

Fakhrul Arefeen Khan has previously made a feature film titled ‘Bhuban Majhi’ (2017) depicting the liberation war. The film ‘1971 Ebong Kay’ will portray the tumultuous days of the war along with how the stories of helpless Bangladeshis suffering in refugee camps in West Bengal, India, moved people in far-off lands.

When speaking about his upcoming venture, Fakhrul Arefeen Khan said, ‘My upcoming film ‘‘1971 Ebong Kay’’ will revolve around the historic incident which took place on December 3, 1971 during the liberation war on a foreign land when a French citizen named Jean Kay came to the aid of the helpless people of Bangladesh. He hijacked a plane at a French airport to support the helpless millions suffering at refugee camps. He demanded that 20 tonnes of medical supplies and relief items be immediately sent to Bangladesh.’

Though Jean Kay was finally apprehended by the French police, his actions had profound impact on the people across the globe. The French Red Cross and the Order of Knights Hospitaliers of Malta arranged 20 tonnes of medical supplies and sent those to Bangladesh.

‘The government has honoured many foreigners for their contribution to the liberation war, but no films were made on their contribution. The film will give the viewers a glimpse into the contribution of Jean Kay. We have plans to release the film in both English and French languages. The character of Jean Kay will likely be played by a French or Hollywood actor. We are currently developing the script. We are looking forward to holding a press conference in October where we will share more information regarding the film,’ added Fakhrul Arefeen Khan, whose liberation war-based documentary ‘Al-Badar’ (2011) bagged National Film Award as best documentary. It was screened in Commonwealth Film Festival, SAARC Film Festival and Ankara Film Festival.

Fakhrul Arefeen Khan has made two other documentaries — ‘The Speech’ and ‘Hawker Ghar’.

‘I will also make a documentary on Dhirendranath Dutt titled “Abinashwar”. I have received a government grant for making the documentary. We are currently researching and are hoping to finish it soon,’ he mentioned.

The filmmaker’s recent directorial venture ‘Gondi’ will open the 21st edition of Rainbow Film Festival in the United Kingdom on October 18.

‘Rainbow International Film Festival is a huge platform for Bangladeshi film enthusiasts. I am very excited and glad that my film will open the prestigious film festival,’ said Fakhrul Arefeen Khan, who also shared his thoughts on the country’s film industry. ‘We have failed to create an environment that can draw middle class people to cinemas. In the ‘80s, middle class families used to crowd cinemas. As they started to avoid cinemas due to poor environment, many cinemas across the country permanently shut down over the years and among the cinemas that are currently in operation not many may boast an environment where middle class families can enjoy films together. We should develop the quality of cinemas before making quality films,’ said Fakhrul Arefeen Khan.

‘In the last few years, we have made a number of quality films and how many of those have become commercially successful. I think that we need 100 modern cineplexes to breathe new life into the industry,’ he ended.