Rubaiyat Hossain

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Rubaiyat Hossain
Rubaiyat Hossain.JPG
Born (1981-01-24) 24 January 1981 (age 37)
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Rubaiyat Hossain (Bengali: রুবাইয়াত হোসেন) is a Bangladeshi filmmaker and researcher.

She debuted as a feature filmmaker in 2011 with Meherjaan, a film about a Bengali woman's love affair with a Pakistani soldier during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence. The film was controversial in Bangladesh and pulled down from cinema halls by its distributors just a week after its release.[1] It did however participate at several film festivals and won a handful of awards.

Her next film, Under Construction, was released in 2015 and tells the story of an urban middle-class woman in an unhappy marriage who plays the role of Nandini in Tagore's play Red Oleanders (Raktakarabi). It has been screened at film festivals around the world and received several awards.

Personal life[edit]

Hossain is the daughter of Bangladeshi politician Syed Abul Hossain and his wife Khwaja Nargis Hossain. Through her mother, she is descended from the Sufi pir Khwaja Enayetpuri.

She has been married to documentary maker Ashique Mostafa since June 2008.[2]


Inspired by the works of Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, Hossain pursued her interest in cinema and completed a diploma in film direction at New York Film Academy in 2002. She has also completed a B. A. in women studies from Smith College,and an M. A. in South Asian studies from the University of Pennsylvania, in the United States. Her primary fields of interest are Sufism, Bengali nationalism, formation of Bengali modernity and its correlation with female sexuality.[3]

She is currently pursuing cinema studies at New York University.[4]

Social work[edit]

Rubaiyat Hossain has worked for prominent women’s rights NGOs in Bangladesh such as Ain O Salish Kendra and Naripokkho. She was also the co-coordinator for the first international workshop on Sexuality and Rights organized by BRAC School of Public Health in 2007.[3]


Year Films Festivals
2011 Meherjaan (feature film)
2015 Under Construction (feature film)


Khona Talkies[edit]

Rubaiyat Hossain and her husband Ashique Mostafa established Khona Talkies (formerly known as Era Motion Pictures) in 2008 with the vision of using young Bangladeshi talent to produce film in a local terrain with possible foreign co-production and creative tie-ups. Since its inception, Khona Talkies has produced and acquired a few award winning and internationally acclaimed as well as locally significant independent films by young film-makers.[21]