Bangla movies have always been popular and going to the cinema was until recently, one
of the most popular forms of entertainment. High drama, plenty of song and dance and
rags to riches stories were amongst the favourites and film stars were idolized. The advent
of video has destroyed the industry and many cinema halls are empty and being converted
into shopping malls. But people still remember the oldies and the film stars of old are still
popular. Some have successfully entered politics.
These posters have been commissioned by photographer Shahidul Alam for a project
where he will be taking portraits of ageing film stars using banners of films they were
famous for, as the backdrops.
The painter Sitesh Kumar Sur was born in 8 April 1963 at Shakhari Bazar, located in the
old part of Dhaka city. He studied up to class v. Shakhari Bazar has a high Hindu
population and was particularly dangerous to live in during the liberation war. After
liberation he started working at Shilpi Art Publicity doing odd errands where he learnt to
paint. In 1985 he started his own painting business in a partnership named Maya Art
Publicity eventually starting his own business in 1994-95 as Aka Art Publicity, also located
at Shakhari Bazar. The business was running well, however the advent of large format
digital printing (about seven years ago) ruined the business and the practice of hand
painting has disappeared.
Sitesh started other small businesses (fast food) alongside his painting business. He still
loves hand painting and takes on special assignments if a client comes up with an order.
He takes two days for him and his team to complete a movie banner, but knows that this
art will not survive.
He is married and has three daughters.