Tareque Masud

Tareque Masud
Tareque Masud Syl.jpg
Masud in Sylhet, December 2010
Native name
তারেক মাসুদ
Tarequer Masud

(1956-12-06)6 December 1956
Died 13 August 2011(2011-08-13) (aged 54)
Ghior Upazila, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Cause of death Road accident
Resting place Nurpur, Bhanga, Faridpur
Monuments The Wreckage Microbus of Mishuk Munier and Tareque Masud
Nationality Bangladeshi
Other names Cinema Feriwalla
Education MA
Alma mater University of Dhaka
  • Film director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • lyricist
Years active 1995–2011
Known for Matir Moina
Notable work
Home town Bhanga, Faridpur
Spouse(s) Catherine Masud
Children 1
Awards Ekushey Padak (2012)
Website tarequemasud.org
Signature of Tareque Masud.svg

Tareque Masud (6 December 1956 – 13 August 2011) was a Bangladeshi independent film director, film producer, screenwriter and lyricist.[1] He first found success with the films Muktir Gaan (1995) and Matir Moina (2002), for which he won three international awards, including the International Critics' FIPRESCI Prize, in the Directors' Fortnight section outside competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[2] The film became Bangladesh's first film to compete for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Masud died in a road accident on 13 August 2011 while returning to Dhaka from Manikganj on the Dhaka-Aricha highway after visiting a filming location.[3] Masud was working on Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower).[4][5]

In 2012, he posthumously received Ekushey Padak, the highest civilian award of Bangladesh.[6] In 2013, New York University Asian/Pacific/American Institute, and South Asia Solidarity Initiative, hosted the first North American retrospective of his films.[7]


Masud was born on 6 December 1956 in Nurpur village, Bhanga Upazila, Faridpur District, East Pakistan.[8] He grew up in Nurpur village and started his education in an Islamic school (madrasah). He studied in the madrassa system for eight years, until the upheaval brought about by the 9-month Liberation War interrupted his education in 1971. After the war, he entered general education, completing his HSC from Adamjee Cantonment College and completed his master's degree in History from the University of Dhaka.

Tareque was involved in the film society movement from his university days and started his first film, Adam Surat (The Inner Strength), a documentary on the Bangladeshi painter SM Sultan, in 1982. His 1995 feature-length documentary on the 1971 Liberation War, Muktir Gaan (Song of Freedom), brought record audiences and became a cult classic. He also made many other films on the war, including Muktir Kotha (Words of Freedom, 1999), Narir Kotha (Women and War, 2000) and Naroshundor (The Barbershop, 2009). In 2002, he completed his feature film Matir Moina (The Clay Bird), which was based on his childhood experience in the madrassa.

As a part of his filmmaking work, he was a pioneer of the independent film movement in Bangladesh. In 1986, Tareque was a founding member of Bangladesh Short Film Forum, the leading platform for independent filmmakers in Bangladesh. In 1988, he organized the country's first International Short and Documentary Film Festival, which is held on a biannual basis to this day. He was also known as the "Cinema Feriwalla" for the way in which he showed his films, touring remote towns and villages throughout the country with his mobile projection unit.[9]

His wife, an American-born film editor Catherine Masud, was his creative partner. They met at the time he was completing work on Adam Surat and spent the next two decades making films together through their production house Audiovision. Together they wrote scripts, often co-directed, and toured the country and the world with their films. Catherine also edited all of their work.[9]

Early career

From left; Masud, Bashar and right Murshed ( Moviyana film Society Member) at the show of Runway in Sylhet

Masud's first film was the documentary Adam Surat (Inner Strength) on the Bangladeshi painter SM Sultan which he completed in 1989. His most famous film in the early age of his career was the documentary Muktir Gaan (The Song of Freedom, 1995) where the camera follows a music troupe during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.[10] The members of the troupe sing songs to inspire freedom fighters.

His first full-length feature film, Matir Moina ("The Clay Bird", 2002) which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, derives inspiration from his own childhood experiences. He won the International Critic's Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 for this film,[2] as well as the FIPRESCI Prize for Directors' Fortnight for "its authentic, moving and delicate portrayal of a country struggling for its democratic rights."[11] Matir Moina was received with critical praise and toured the international circuit. It was one of the first Bangladeshi films to be widely circulated and was greeted with enthusiasm for its realistic depiction of life without the melodrama that is prevalent in many other South Asian films.

His film, Ontarjatra ("Homeland", 2006), featured two generations of Bangladeshi diaspora in London and their return to Bangladesh. His next feature film, Runway (2010) was about the influence of radical religious teachings on a young boy, caught between many modernistic. Masud's last unfinished project was Kagojer Phool ("The Paper Flower"), about the partition of the Indian subcontinent. This film has become a prequel to Matir Moina (2002).

Personal life

Masud and Catherine Shapere have a son, Nishad Bingham Putra Masud.[12]


The Wreckage Microbus of Mishuk Munier and Tareque Masud is preserved at University of Dhaka Campus.

On 13 August 2011, Masud died in a road accident at Joka under Ghior Upazila while returning to Dhaka from Manikganj on the Dhaka-Aricha highway after visiting a shooting location.[13] His microbus collided head-on with an oncoming passenger bus.[3] He along with the other passengers were travelling to choose shooting locations for his new film Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower), filming of which was supposed to begin after shooting locations were elected.[4]

Masud was travelling with long-time co-worker Mishuk Munier, a cinematographer, a journalist and CEO of ATN News. Munier also died in the accident.[13]

Masud's wife, Catherine, along with four others, survived the accident. Since his death, Catherine has established the Tareque Masud Memorial Trust, which is dedicated to the task of archiving and memorializing Masud's work through publications, educational projects, screening programs, and the completion of their unfinished works.[9]


On 6 December 2018, a Google Doodle was displayed on Google Bangladesh page to celebrate his 62nd birthday.[14]


Masud was received many international and national awards for his notable works. He received Best Film Award from Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards in 1996 and a Special Jury Prize from Festival of South Asian Documentaries in 1997 and a National Award for Documentary film Muktir Gaan.

He received an International Critics' FIPRESCI Prize, in the Directors' Fortnight section outside competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[2] Best Screenplay Award from International Film Festival of Marrakech in 2002. Best Film Award from Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards, Kara Film Festival and Channel I Film Awards in 2003 from the film Matir Moina (2002).

After Masud received Jury Prize from International Video Festival of India in 2003, Best Direction award from International Film Festival Bangladesh in 2006, Special Jury Award, Osian's Cinefan Festival Delhi in 2006, Meril Prothom Alo Awards in 2010 etc.

In 2012, he received Ekushey Padak, the highest civilian award of Bangladesh posthumously.[6] In 2013, New York University Asian/Pacific/American Institute, and South Asia Solidarity Initiative, hosted the first North American retrospective of his films.[7]


Masud often casts certain actors more than once in his films. Masud has consistently worked with Jayanta Chattopadhyay, Mohammed Moslemuddin and Rokeya Prachy.

Recurring themes

Masud's films have recurring themes with subtexts. These include the religious conflicts between humanity and society, strong female characters, and a strong patriot movement.


Year Film Credits Notes Ref(s)
Director Writer
1985 Sonar Beri Yes Yes Documentary on the oppressed condition of Bangladeshi women
1989 Adam Surat Yes Yes The Inner Strength (16mm, 54 mins); Documentary on the life and art of the Bangladeshi painter SM Sultan
1992 Unison Yes Yes animated film about the unity of mankind, portrayed through religious symbols
1993 Shey Yes Yes Fiction short about a strained reunion between a former couple
1995 Muktir Gaan Yes Yes Feature-length documentary film about a troupe of traveling musicians during Bangladesh Liberation War. Based on footage filmed by Lear Levin
1997 Shishu Kantha Yes Yes Documentary on working children in Bangladesh
1999 Nirapotter Namey Yes Yes Documentary on human rights abuses of ‘safe custody’
1999 Muktir Kotha Yes Yes Oral history documentary about experience of ordinary villagers during Bangladesh Liberation War
2000 Narir Kotha Yes Yes Documentary on experience of women survivors of Bangladesh Liberation War
2002 Matir Moina Yes Yes Feature film set in a madrasa in rural East Pakistan during the turbulent 1960s and the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War
2002 A Kind of Childhood Yes Yes A documentary on the struggles of working children in Dhaka city, followed over the course of six years
2006 Ontarjatra Yes Yes A film about a single mother returning to Bangladesh with her son to attend her former husband's funeral
2008 Kansater Pothay Yes Yes A documentary on a successful people's movement for electricity
2009 Noroshundor Yes Yes Fiction short that was first film to critique the premise that all Urdu-speakers supported the Pakistan army in 1971
2010 Runway Yes Yes A feature film about a boy's descent into radical Islam
- Kagojer Phool an unfinished film that was to be a fictional feature set during the partition of India


Film Rotten Tomatoes[16] Metacritic[17] Budget
Matir Moina 89% (27 reviews) 75 (14 reviews) $300,000

See also


  1. ^ Punny Kabir (13 August 2012). "Revealing Tareque Masud as a lyricist". New Age. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Official Tareque Masud website
  3. ^ a b "Crash victims' bodies arrive, probe begins | Bangladesh". bdnews24.com. 13 August 2011. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  4. ^ a b তারেক মাসুদ ও মিশুক মুনীরসহ নিহত ৫ (in Bengali). Prothom-alo.com. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  5. ^ সড়ক দুর্ঘটনায় মারা গেছেন তারেক মাসুদ, মিশুক মুনীরসহ ৫ জন (in Bengali). Banglanews24.com. 13 August 2011. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  6. ^ a b "15 personalities receive Ekushey Padak bdnews24.com". Ns.bdnews24.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Tareque Masud Journey Interrupted". NYU. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Catherine Masud – Celebrating Her Cinema Feriwala's 57th Birthday". The Daily Star. 7 December 2013.
  9. ^ a b c "About: Bio". The Official Website of Tareque Masud. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  10. ^ Naeem Mohaiemen (2011). "An end to revisionist history?". Himal. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  11. ^ Jamie Russell (3 July 2003). "The Clay Bird (Matir Moina) (2003)". BBC. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  12. ^ Ahammed, Rakib (14 August 2011). "Fate puts a full stop". The Daily Star. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  13. ^ a b "In memory of Tareque Masud and Mishuk Munier". The Daily Star. 13 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Tareque Masud's 62nd Birthday". google.com. 6 December 2018.
  15. ^ a b c Raju, Zakir Hossain (2014) [First published 2008]. Bangladesh Cinema and National Identity: In Search of the Modern?. Taylor & Francis Group. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-317-60181-4.
  16. ^ "Tareque Masud". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Tareque Masud". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 May 2015.

External links