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Bangladesh’s gripping horror film ‘Moshari’ qualifies for Oscar

The horror story revolves around two sisters' fight against the mosquitos and their own demons (Pics. Courtesy Twitter/@bethejuggernaut)

Bangladesh’s 20-minute short film “Moshari”, meaning mosquito net in Bangla, which has been directed and produced by self-taught Nuhash Humayun continues to be in limelight. This live-action horror movie has the singular distinction of being the country’s first film in any format to qualify for Oscar next year. It will be competing in the Best Live Action Shorts category.

Now news has come in that Oscar-winning filmmakers Jordan Peele and Riz Ahmed have joined “Moshari” as its Executive Producers. Peele is known for being closely associated with science fiction horror and psychological movies and won Oscar for the Best Screenplay for “Get Out”, while Ahmed is a British actor and rapper, has picked up the Best Live-action Short Film Academy Award for his film “The Long Goodbye” which is based on his hip hop album.

The film deals with climate change which is bound to affect all the nations irrespective of their size and economic status

“Moshari” by Humayun — a filmmaker based out of Bangladesh and Los Angeles who is a Sundance Screenwriting Fellow — is inspired by the cataclysmic effects of climate change in Bangladesh. It emphasises that the natural threats triggered by human activities will spare no one irrespective of their location or economic status.

The title denoting traditional South Asian mosquito nets which protects people from malaria-spreading insects and others takes place in an unspecified time in a fictional world which has been invaded by lethal and bloodthirsty mosquitoes. The surviving people get through by shielding themselves from these beings by staying inside their moshari in Dhaka, Bangladesh when the sun starts going down.

At the centre of the film are two sisters — Apu and Ayra – who deal with their anxious relationship when under the protective net while when forced outside their shield of safety they are forced to “face their demons together”.

Commenting about the film and its director in a report in One Green Field, Win Rosenfeld and Dana Gills, President and Senior Vice-President in Peele’s production company, Monkeypaw Productions said: “Nuhash drew us into his dynamic post-apocalyptic world and never let go. It’s a film about survival, love and family, but it’s also a terrifying and novel take on what a monster movie can be.”

They added: “We were floored by Nuhash’s riveting film that evokes our subconscious fears, from the childhood monster under the bed to an apocalyptic future. He weaves together jump scares and an emotional survival story of two young sisters, confronting colonialism and climate change in the process. We’re thrilled to join Nuhash’s team and help share this story.”

The film has haunting visuals of the marshlands

The visuals of the marshlands in film are haunting yet the director handles the subject with sensitivity.

Starring Sunerah Binte Kamal and Nairah Onora Saif in lead roles, the other actors in the film include Moyed Bhuiyan and Tony Ji among others. Others associated with the film are Ejaz Mehedi as the director of photography and Bushra Afreen and Rashad Wajahat as producers.

The logline or the brief summary of the film in fact sums the movie succinctly well. It reads: “The end of the world forces two sisters together, inside a mosquito net, just to survive — but first they must survive each other.”

The film has been appreciated at mainstream festivals and Oscar-qualifying competitions and picked up a Grand Jury award for Best Midnight Short at SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin, Texas.