Tanvir Mokammel

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Tanvir Mokammel
Tanvir Mokammel (cropped).jpg
Mokammel in 2017
Native name
তানভীর মোকাম্মেল
Born (1955-03-08) 8 March 1955 (age 64)
EducationUniversity of Dhaka
Occupationfilmmaker, writer
Years active1984–present

Tanvir Mokammel (born 8 March 1955) is a Bangladeshi filmmaker and writer.[1][2][3] He is the recipient of Ekushey Padak in 2017.[4] He won Bangladesh National Film Awards total ten times for the films Nodir Naam Modhumoti (1995), Chitra Nodir Pare (1999) and Lalsalu (2001).[5] He is the current director of Bangladesh Film Institute in Dhaka.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Tanvir Mokammel grew up in Khulna.[7] His father worked as a magistrate in Narail and his mother was a teacher in a local college.[7] He completed his master's in English literature at the University of Dhaka.[6]


Since he was a university student, Mokammel worked as a left-wing journalist for landless peasants in rural areas.[8] As a filmmaker he has made six full-length features and fifteen documentaries and short films, some of which have received national and international awards.[9]

His feature films are "Nodir Naam Modhumoti" (The River Named Modhumati), "Chitra Nodir Pare" (Quiet Flows the River Chitra), "Lalsalu" (A Tree Without Roots), "Lalon" , "Rabeya" (The Sister), and "Jibondhuli" (The Drummer). Tanvir Mokammel's prominent documentaries are "The Garment Girls of Bangladesh", "The Unknown Bard", "Teardrops of Karnaphuli", "Riders to the Sunderbans", "A Tale of the Jamuna River", "The Promised Land", "Tajuddin Ahmad :An Unsung Hero", "The Japanese Wife", "Swapnabhumi" and mega-documentary "1971". His movies "Nadir Naam Modhumati" (The River Named Modhumati) and "Chitra Nodir Pare" (Quiet Flows the River Chitra) ranked second and third respectively in the list of 10 best Bangladeshi films, in the audience and critics' polls conducted by the British Film Institute.[10]

Mokammel has written poems, short stories, and newspaper articles on cinema and cultural issues. Tanvir Mokammel's important books are "A Brief History of World Cinema", "The Art of Cinema", "Charlie Chaplin: Conquests by a Tramp", "Syed Waliullah, Sisyphus and Quest of Tradition in Novel" (a work of literary criticism), "Grundtvig and Folk Education" (a book on alternative educational ideas), and a translation of Maxim Gorky's play "The Lower Depths".[8]

Mokammel established a film institute called Bangladesh Film Centre.[6]


Year Title English Title Contribution Notes
1984 Hooliya Wanted Script/Direction An experimental short feature film based on a political poem by poet Nirmalendu Goon
1991 Smriti Ekattor Remembrance of ’71 Script/Direction A documentary on the massacre on Bengalis in 1971.
1993 Ekti Golir Atyakahini Tale of a Lane Script/Direction A documentary on the life and the present condition of the Hindu conch shell makers of old Dhaka
1996 Nodir Naam Modhumoti The River Named Modhumati Script/Direction A feature film on the backdrop of the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971.

Received three national awards for best story, best dialogue and best song. Shown in Tri-Continental Film Festival, Nantes, France.[citation needed]

1996 Achin Pakhi The Unknown Bard Script/Direction A documentary film on the Bauls.
1996 Swapnar School A School for Swapna Script/Direction A documentary on the alternative schools for the poor adults
1999 Chitra Nodir Pare Quiet Flows The River Chitra Script/Direction A feature film on destiny of a Hindu family in East Pakistan following the 1947 partition of British India.

Received seven national awards including the best film, best story, best script, best art direction and best director of the year. Shown in London, Oslo, Fribourg (Switzerland), Singapore, Delhi, Calcutta and Trivandrum film festivals.[citation needed]

1999 Images And Impressions Images And Impressions Script/Direction A documentary on the ideals of the Folk High Schools in Denmark.[citation needed]
2001 Lalsalu A Tree Without Roots Script/Direction Received eight Bangladesh national awards including the best film, best script, best cinematography, best sound and best director. Jury's special mention, 1st International Film Festival, 2003, Dhaka and shown in London, Rotterdam, Montreal, Quebec, Cinenouvo (Belgium), Jeonju (South Korea), Fukuoka (Japan), Toronto (Bongo Festival) and Delhi International Film Festivals.[citation needed]
2002 Oie Jamuna A Tale of the Jamuna River Script/Direction
2004 Lalon Lalon Script/Direction A Feature film on Fakir Lalon Shah. Received national award for Best Art Direction, 2008. Shown in Fukuoka, Japan London, Cleveland, competitive section in Dhaka International and in the Goa (India) international film festivals and in Musée Guimet, France.[citation needed]
2005 Karnaphulir Kanna Teardrops Of Karnaphuli Script/Direction A documentary on the plight of the Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Mrung and other indigenous people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The documentary was banned by the government of Bangladesh.[citation needed] Shown in Kathmandu documentary film festival and in Musée Guimet, France.
2005 Bonojatri Riders To The Sunderbans Script/Direction A documentary film on the Sunderbans
2007 Bostrobalikara Garment Girls of Bangladesh Script/Direction Received the award for best documentary film of the year by Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies. Shown in Musée Guimet, France[citation needed]
2007 Nissonga Sarathi Tajuddin Ahmad: An Unsung Hero Script/Direction A documentary about Tajuddin Ahmad, the first premier of Bangladesh.[citation needed]


The Promised Land Script/Direction Received the award for second best documentary film by Film South Asia Film Festival, 2009, Nepal.[citation needed]
2008 Rabeya The Sister Script/Direction A deconstruction of Sophocles's play “Antigone” on the backdrop of the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. Supported by Hubert Bals Fund and received grant as one of the best scripts from the Government of Bangladesh.
2011 1971 1971 Script/Direction A mega-documentary on the liberation war of Bangladesh.
2012 Japani Bodhu The Japanese Wife Script/Direction A documentary on Hariprobha Takeda, the first Bengali woman who wrote a travelogue on Japan and used to read Bengali news from Tokyo Radio for Subash Bose’s Azad Hind Fauz.[citation needed]
2014 Jibondhuli The Drummer Script/Direction A feature film on the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. Received Script Award from Hubert Bals Fund, Rotterdam Film Festival and a grant from the Ministry of Information, Government of Bangladesh.
2017 Seemantorekha The Borderline Script/Direction A documentary film on the Partition of Bengal in 1947.

Awards and honors[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1995 National Film Award Best Story The River Named Modhumati Won
Best Dialogue Won
Best Song Won
1999 Best Picture Quiet Flows The River Chitra Won
Best Director Won
Best Story Won
Best Dialogue Won
2001 Best Picture A Tree Without Roots Won
Best Director Won
Best Dialogue Won
2007 Chalachchitram Padak[6] Won


  1. Film Aesthetics and Twelve Directors (Chalachitra o Barojon Director) in Bengali, a book dealing with the film aesthetics of Griffith, Eisenstein, Kuleshov, Pudovkin, Cocteau, Dziga Vertov, Stroheim, John Ford, Renoir, Godard, Rene Clair and Satyajit Ray, Sahitya Prakashoni, 1985.
  2. Film (Chalachitra), a brief history of the world cinema, in Bengali, published by Bangla Academy, 1987.
  3. Marxism and Literature (Marxbad O Sahitya), a collection of essays, mostly literary criticism and on different authors of Bengali literature, also essays on Gramsci and on the problem of alienation.
  4. Syed Waliullah, Sisyphus and Quest for Tradition in Novel (in Bengali), a book of literary criticism on the novels and short stories written by Syed Waliullah, perhaps the most prominent writer among the Muslim community of Bengal, published by Muktodhara, 1988.
  5. Nitchutalar Manush, translation of Maxim Gorky's play The Lower Depths, into Bengali, published by Viswasahitya Kendro, 1997.
  6. Charlie Chaplin: Triumph of the Tramp (Bhabaghurer Digbijoy), in Bengali, on the life and craft of Charlie Chaplin as an actor and film-maker, Sahitya Prakasoni, 1996.
  7. Grundtvig and Gonoshikhsa, a book on the theories of alternative education for the downtrodden and disadvantaged people of the rural areas, 1997.
  8. Art of Cinema (Cinemar Shilparup), in Bengali, a collection of essays on different aspects of the aesthetics of cinema, published by Agami Prokashoni, 1998.


  1. ^ "I had a dream team in Jibondhuli: Tanvir Mokammel". Dhaka Tribune. 2013-06-12. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  2. ^ "Tanvir Mokammel". ucfilms.in. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Tanvir Mokammel films screened in Morocco". The Daily Star. 2009-07-05. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  4. ^ "17 named for Ekushey Padak 2017". The Daily Star. 2017-02-12. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  5. ^ "জাতীয় চলচ্চিত্র পুরস্কার প্রাপ্তদের নামের তালিকা (১৯৭৫-২০১২)" [List of the winners of National Film Awards (1975-2012)]. Government of Bangladesh (in Bengali). Bangladesh Film Development Corporation. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "Tanvir Mokammel receives 'Chalachchitram Padak'". The Daily Star. 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  7. ^ a b "Rendering the great sense of loss of 1947 through film". The Daily Star. 2017-08-25. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  8. ^ a b Islam, Nazrul. "A short profile of Tanvir Mokammel". tanvirmokammel.com. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  9. ^ Islam, Nazrul. "Awards". tanvirmokammel.com. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  10. ^ "Top 10 Bangladeshi films". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 27 May 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2014.

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