REEL Bangladesh preview: Mass E Bhat documentary screening & director Q&A

On Wednesday 16th December, JAAGO Foundation UK, the Rainbow Collective and Bizarre Culture will collectively host a screening of the documentary Mass E Bhat,  followed by a director Q&A and discussion. The event, REEL Bangladesh, will look at the potential for film as a tool for social change.  This change will focus on the work of the JAAGO Foundation UK –  with all ticketing proceeds going towards their support of  socially and economically disadvantaged children in Bangladesh, through providing free of cost education.

Produced by the Rainbow Collective, Mass E Bhat documents the lives of underprivileged children in Bangladesh, and the positive effect that educational opportunities can have on their lives. As such it perfectly demonstrates both the importance of the JAAGO Foundation’s work and the positive outcome educational initiatives can have.

JAAGO Foundation currently provides free education to 1,800 students in 13 schools and one orphanage throughout Bangladesh. In the context of the 33 million people who live in Bangladesh, many of them children, there is still a long way to go in the journey towards free, quality education for all. For Alex Durham, JAAGO Foundation UK trustee:

“REEL Bangladesh will be a great platform to awaken people to the reality of life for street children in Bangladesh through the unwavering lens of documentary Mass E Bhat. We hope that the event will empower guests to be part of a change, and show them that there is hope and opportunity for those who are born with so little, but can gain so much through free of cost education. We hope that we can turn curious people into active advocates for education and arts to help Bangladesh’s children break out of the poverty trap.”

Mass E Bhat has received a strong reception from critics, having been nominated for the awards of Best Documentary and Best Soundtrack at the East End Film Festival 2014 and screened at a number of other film festivals. What makes Mass E Bhat  a great piece of activism, is that it tells a story of the voiceless. In giving a platform for Bangladeshi children to tell their stories, Mass E Bhat encourages you to open your mind to their world, to try and understand the children’s lives and begin to think about how you can help make a positive contribution.

REEL Bangladesh will include a Q&A with the film’s directors, Hannan Majid and Richard York. Majid and York will give a first-hand account of the real lives of children living in poverty in Bangladesh, the positive effect of education on their lives and the role of film as a positive force for social change. After the Q&A there will be a chance to talk to other attendees about themes raised by the film and the work of JAAGO Foundation UK and Rainbow Collective.

Bizarre Culture is helping to host REEL Bangladesh for a simple reason. Crushing poverty is the reality for many in the world, yet there is a lack of focus on human tragedy in western media. The lack of recognition can be addressed by art, and education through films such as Mass E Bhat.  The issue of poverty itself can be addressed with art and education through organisations like JAAGO Foundation UK. The collaboration between these two organisations goes to the heart of what Bizarre Culture is – an attempt to uncover the hidden stories of the world, and to document the power that art and culture has to change that world.

REEL Bangladesh will be held on the 16th December at the London Cinema Museum from 7.00 pm. Tickets cost just £10.50, with all proceeds going towards supporting the work of JAAGO Foundation UK.

Buy a ticket for REEL Bangladesh HERE.

Words: Matthew Gibson