ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Script Development Fund

2017 Script Development Fund

LIST Rehana (aka. I See Waves)
Category Asian Project
Project Rehana (aka. I See Waves)
Director Abdullah Mohammad SAAD
Country Bangladesh, Singapore, Qatar
Director's Profile Abdullah Mohammad SAAD was born in 1985 in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He graduated with a degree in Education and Research from the University of Dhaka before he started making short films and founded his own production company. His first film Live From Dhaka (2016) won the Best Director and Best Actor prize at the 27th Singapore International Film Festival juried by Naomi Kawase. It has also been selected at International Film Festival Rotterdam, Jeonju International Film Festival, Festival Cinema Africano Asia e America Latino and International Film Festival of South Asia Toronto.
After being accused of killing a local politician, Sazzad escapes from Bangladesh to avoid death sentence and comes to Bangkok only to find out that he has Chronic Kidney Disease. Living as an illegal immigrant, Sazzad faces constant fear of getting arrested and detained while struggling to earn enough to continue his dialysis treatment. Meanwhile Bangladeshi police keep harassing his family to know his whereabouts, which makes him feel terribly guilty. As the pressure mounts, Sazzad finds himself in a gridlock from where he sees no way out.
Director's Note
While I was editing the last scene of my first feature, I started wondering about the fate of the protagonist Sazzad who did everything he could to escape from Dhaka. I asked myself what happens next? In my research, I came across news reports describing the unbearable situations of political refugees living in Bangkok. Their stories of day-to-day suffering, inhuman living conditions and the constant fear of getting detained were impossible to ignore. In today’s world “Immigration” has become an important subject matter more than ever. But my film is not about an “Issue”. It’s an attempt to understand the complex life of an immigrant.
My visual approach is similar to a photojournalist, capturing the essence of my characters in real space and light by being present at the moment of any given situation. It is an intimate and observational approach. Since the film is about someone who lives in a city of strange people, my camera is going to be his most trusted witness.
2021 Cannes Film Festival - Un Certain Regard
2021 Singapore International Film Festival
2021 Busan International Film Festival - A Window on Asian Cinema
2021 Asia Pacific Screen Awards - Jury Grand Prize, Best Performance by an Actress
2021 Hong Kong Asian Film Festival - New Talent Award
2021 Palm Springs International Film Society
2021 Singapore International Film Festival
2021 New Zealand International Film Festival
2022 Valencia International Film Festival - Best Feature Film
Still Cut