The 13-time National Award winning Sabina Yasmin needs no prior introduction. She is a renowned singer and an invaluable asset in Bangladesh's music industry. With more than 10,000 songs under her name, Sabina Yasmin has remained prominent for four decades, and continues being so even today. Her voice, that everyone adores, has amassed myriad fans both here and abroad. She has sung countless songs in films, and has been regarded as a top playback singer of this country after her breakthrough song Shudhu Gaan Geye Porichoy.
Sabina Yasmin's humble beginning came in the form of an opportunity by the martyr Altaf Mahmud, and since then she has never looked back. Her debut song, Modhu Jochnar Dipali, was featured in Zahir Raihan's famous film Agun Niye Khela (1967). Some of her other famous songs include Sujon Sokhi, Sundari, Kosai, Golapi Ekhon Train E, Shadhinota Tumi, Boner Kokil and much more. She has also won the Ekushey Padak and the Independence Day Award, and has influenced many younger singers to take the helm and push the Bangladeshi music industry to new heights. Sabina Yasmin's contribution is timeless, and will remain so for years to come.
Nasir Ali Mamun
Very few Bangladeshis knew the term “portrait photography” before Nasir Ali Mamun had inaugurated it in this country. Known as the “The Poet with the Camera”, Nasir Ali Mamun is known nationwide as a renowned photographer who has captured countless famous personalities in his camera. Initially met with challenges of being a professional photographer, he struggled to make portrait photography prominent in Bangladesh. His success was gradual, and in the end he managed to portray unique and indistinguishable messages through his pictures.
Among many important historical figures, Nasir Ali Mamun is credited for taking remarkable portrait photographs of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mother Teresa, Mawlana Bhashani, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jasimuddin, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, and many more. His photography style is precise, utilizing shadows to create a black and white picture, in which he applies no artificial light. His emphasis on ‘painting’ a natural picture by controlling the amount of light and shadows has made him a connoisseur in photography, and with over 40 solo exhibitions, he is a name that is prominent even today.
Suchanda was more than a household name in the Bangladeshi film industry around the '60s; she is credited to have revolutionized patriotic films in this country. Jibon Theke Neya (1970), one of her most notable films, is famous for being a political satire which symbolized the reign of the dictator Ayub Khan during the time of East Pakistan. Based around the Bangla Language Movement, the film inspired the feeling of patriotism in its viewers, which was definitive during the civil unrest of that period. Directed by her husband Zahir Raihan, Suchanda's role in Jibon Theke Neya, alongside Nayak Raj Razzak, was nationally acclaimed and the film is still considered a timeless classic.
Suchanda has performed in a number of notable films alongside Razzak, some examples being Behula (1966), Anwara (1967), Songsar (1968), Moner Moto Bou (1969) and Asru Diye Lekha (1972). Each of her films received substantial prominence during their time of release, but Suchanda didn't stop there. She branched out to the directorial line, winning the National Award for the Best Director with her film Hajar Bochor Dhore (2005). The story of this film was based on Zahir Raihan's novel of the same name, and won awards in cinematography, writing, music and art direction as well. Suchanda's performances in classic Bangla films are unforgettable, and her contribution to the film industry is an ongoing legacy.