The highly acclaimed Bangladeshi film, “Payer Tolay Mati Nai” (No Ground Beneath the Feet), has been selected as the official entry for the 96th Academy Awards in the international feature film category. This remarkable achievement underscores Bangladesh’s growing influence in the global film industry and highlights the exceptional talent it brings to the forefront.
Directed by Mohammad Rabby Mridha,”Payer Tolay Mati Nai” marks the director’s impressive debut in the world of cinema.
The film’s producer Abu Shahed Emon, esteemed director and producer, confirmed this news to The Daily Star.
Abu Shahed, widely recognised for his debut feature “Jalaler Golpo” (Jalal’s Story), expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “As ‘Payer Tolay Mati Nai’ embarks on its journey to the Oscars, it carries with it the hopes, dreams, and storytelling prowess of independent cinema in Bangladesh, positioning the country as a prominent player on the global cinematic stage.”
Emon’s groundbreaking work also includes “Iti, Tomari Dhaka” (Sincerely Yours Dhaka), the first Bangladeshi anthology, which served as Bangladesh’s entry to the Oscars in 2020.
“Payer Tolay Mati Nai” presents a gripping narrative set against the backdrop of the devastating impacts of climate change. The film follows Saiful, an impoverished ambulance driver, as he grapples with the complexities of two marriages while embarking on a journey marked by moral decay, murder, deception, and societal alienation.
The film made its world premiere at the 2021 Busan International Film Festival in the A Window on Asian Cinema section, captivating audiences and gaining acclaim from critics. It received critical praise and earned nominations in the International competition section of several prestigious film festivals, including the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFES), Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), Jaffna International Cinema Festival, Osaka Asian Film Festival (OAFF), International Film Festival Thrissur, Nepal International Film Festival, and the Red Lotus Asian Film Festival in Vienna.
The film also gained recognition at the London Indian Film Festival, International Film Festival of South Asia in Toronto, and Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Australia, and received a nomination for the Malaysia Golden Globe Awards (MGGA) during the Malaysian International Film Festival.
The film has garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards, including a Jury Special Mention at the Jaffna International Cinema Festival, the Gautam Buddha Award for Best Film at the Nepal International Film Festival, and the Best Debut Film – Fipresci Award at the World Film Festival of Kolkata.
“Payer Tolay Mati Nai” takes a deeply personal approach while addressing universal themes of climate change, poverty, and societal issues. The exceptional cast includes Mostafa Monwar, recipient of the Best Performance award at the 2016 Singapore International Film Festival for “Live from Dhaka”, Priyam Archi, and Deepanwita Martin, celebrated for her role in “Made in Bangladesh”.
Produced by Golpo Rajjo Films, “Payer Tolay Mati Nai” is the result of a collaborative effort with Boxoffice and Batayan Productions, showcasing the remarkable synergy and talent within the Bangladeshi film industry.