Private Project

The Cage-Bird

It was a lazy summer afternoon when I first arrived there. Cramped in a 10 feet by 10 feet room, 30 divine children were napping snugly after their lunch. Some of them 6 months old, some 8,6 or 12. It is evident that all of these children were born into brothels. In this male dominated socio economic co-ordinate of the society their mothers were compelled to sell their bodies at some point in time, and the child quietly grew in her womb. Ah..the sweet sounding word “mother” could be uttered, even if for once. Their dads remain unknown. Unseen. Untouched. In brothels, the birth of a baby girl brings joy, as within eight nine years she can also be a source of business, and she will be pampered the same way as a cow is hormone fed for more meat. Hazera. The name of a struggling woman. Who has a dark past and an indomitable courage to walk towards an enlightened future. Who has taken up the responsibility of these children almost by herself. From mentally challenged Shohag..to school going Asma..Hazera is a mom to all these thirty children. These butterflies born into the darkness..will they remain in darkness ?

Festival Screening Till Date:
12th International Short & Independent Film Festival
Dhaka, Bangladesh
December 19, 2012
World Premiere

XI Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes FENACO 2014
Peru
South American Premiere
Finalist

10th MY HERO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
CA, USA
North American Premiere
Finalist

KARAMA Human Rights Film Festival 2014
Amman, Jordan
Arabian Premiere
Finalist

5th Siliguri International Short Film and Documentary Contest 2014
Siliguri, India
November 19, 2014
Indian Premiere

International Children's and Youth Film Festival
Tyumen, Russia
November 29, 2014
Russian Premiere

Sahar International Film Festival
Manchester, UK
February 21, 2015
UK Premiere

7th International Film Festival of Larissa
Larissa, Greece
March 5, 2015
Greek Premiere

Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF)
Mumbai
India
February 20, 2019
Official Selection

Dogslaughter Film Festival
Corbin, KY 40701
United States
February 23, 2019
Official Selection

Catalyst Communities Film Festival
Lincolnshire
United Kingdom
July 14, 2015

The Golden Diana Awards - film festival
Austria
August 23, 2015

Wiper Film Festival
New York
United States
January 15, 2016

The Blackbird Film Fest
New York
United States
April 29, 2016

OZARK SHORTS
Missouri
United States
January 31, 2017

Festival Internacional de Cine y Audiovisual Infantil y Juvenil (V FICAIJ)
Mérida
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
May 24, 2016

Slum Film Festival
Nairobi
Kenya
August 22, 2019

FreeNetWorld international film festival
Nis
Serbia
December 15, 2016

  • Ashraf Shishir (Md. Ashraful Alam)
    Director
    The Cart
  • Ashraf Shishir (Md. Ashraful Alam)
    Writer
    The Cart
  • Ashraf Shishir (Md. Ashraful Alam)
    Producer
    The Cart
  • Hazera
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Television, Web / New Media, Other
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
    Bangladesh
  • Country of Filming:
    Bangladesh
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 12th International Short & Independent Film Festival
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    December 19, 2012
    World Premiere
  • XI Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes FENACO 2014
    Peru
    South American Premiere
    Finalist
  • 10th MY HERO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
    CA, USA
    North American Premiere
    Finalist
  • KARAMA Human Rights Film Festival 2014
    Amman, Jordan
    Arabian Premiere
    Finalist
  • 5th Siliguri International Short Film and Documentary Contest 2014
    Siliguri, India
    November 19, 2014
    Indian Premiere
  • International Children's and Youth Film Festival
    Tyumen, Russia
    November 29, 2014
    Russian Premiere
  • Sahar International Film Festival
    Manchester, UK
    February 21, 2015
    UK Premiere
  • 7th International Film Festival of Larissa
    Larissa, Greece
    March 5, 2015
    Greek Premiere
  • Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF)
    Mumbai
    India
    February 20, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Dogslaughter Film Festival
    Corbin, KY 40701
    United States
    February 23, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Catalyst Communities Film Festival
    Lincolnshire
    United Kingdom
    July 14, 2015
  • The Golden Diana Awards - film festival

    Austria
    August 23, 2015
  • Wiper Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    January 15, 2016
  • The Blackbird Film Fest
    New York
    United States
    April 29, 2016
  • OZARK SHORTS
    Missouri
    United States
    January 31, 2017
  • Festival Internacional de Cine y Audiovisual Infantil y Juvenil (V FICAIJ)
    Mérida
    Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
    May 24, 2016
  • Slum Film Festival
    Nairobi
    Kenya
    August 22, 2019
  • FreeNetWorld international film festival
    Nis
    Serbia
    December 15, 2016
Director Biography - Ashraf Shishir (Md. Ashraful Alam)

Md Ashraful Alam, whose penname/nickname is Ashraf Shishir, is a National Award Winning Independent Motion Pictures and Film Professional, Script Writer, Poet, Story Writer, Human Rights Activists from Bangladesh. Educated in IT and law, he is the pioneer of the AECB film movement, a platform for the filmmakers to establish alternative show-case for better cinema with more than 20,000 members. He is the founder and festival director of International Open Film Festival (IOFF). He is the jury of several international film festivals like Houston Cinemania Film Festival (Texas, USA),Red Rock Film Festival(Utah, USA), Widescreen Film & Music Festival (Florida, USA), Walur Lake International Film Festival (Kashmir, India). Published four books on literature and film.

Filmography of the Director:

Ashraf Shishir`s debut work includes feature THE CART [Gaariwala] 2015 (Script and direction, Recipient of prestigious Grant from the Govt. of Bangladesh and selected in more than 100 International Film Festivals in 31 Countries and won 26 International Awards from India, Chile, Italy, Spain and USA and the National Film Award), His 3rd feature film titled THE INNOCENCE [Amra Ekta Cinema Banabo] which is one of the longest fiction feature film (21 hours long) in the world film history is already in post-production stage and 2nd feature film titled THE INNER SOUND [Gopon] (Script and direction, Recipient of prestigious International Awards from Russia and India and selected in more than 17 International Film Festivals in 13 Countries till date) is awaiting for it`s worldwide release in December 2018. Featurate (Mid-length Feature) fiction film titled THE UNSUNG [Judhdhata Chilo Shadhinotar], Short film titled THE F.I.F.O and feature film titled THE UNPARALLELED [Adwaita] is in work-in-progress stage. Documentary film titled THE CAGE BIRD 2012 has been screened in 16 International Film Festivals in 12 countries and won 1 award from USA. He created few television commercials and music videos too. A social advertisement directed by him was nominated as the finalist in an event organized by the United Nations Office, Geneva, Switzerland in 2018. Ashraf also directed 3 music videos of a musical band named “Shironamhin” which ranked year-long as top ranker in Bangladesh and have millions of views on youtube. He is the writer and producer of the feature film titled THE LOANEE which is now work-in-progress stage. Ashraf worked as one of the scriptwriters and directors (5 episodes, 2 seasons) of THE A BILLION TO ONE (2017-18), an international TV & web-series produced by CollabFeature, an award-winning USA-based company, record breaking team of filmmakers & creators from all over the world.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

A poet, human rights activist, and film maker Ashraf Shishir embarked on this work as a human being torn by the suffering of innocent children. With ten years of work experience in the development sector he has firsthand knowledge of the conspiracies and politics surrounding children in distress. What started as a sudden visit to this facility rearing about 30 children born in brothels, sparked something in the director’s mind, their stories need to be told. The story of human spirit as depicted by the woman Hazera, who runs the project almost singlehandedly , was a portrait that could not be ignored, Not by a painter Ashraf Shishir..whose canvas was the celluloid and his colors were his beautiful story telling skills. Thus this documentary was born, the voices of these small innocent children unheard and untouched by society, were brought to the attention of society. The society that had forgotten about them, their right to live, breathe, laugh and dream ! The director wished to raise social awareness about the injustice suffered by these children, he wishes to make a contribution towards the dreams that they hold despite their sad, hopeless lives. This is where film can touch life !