Dipankar Dipon is a renowned Bangladeshi film director and screenwriter. In his 20-year career – of 2000 to 2020 – he made a feature film, a web content, 25 TV Movies & Telefilms, 25 TV serials, 40 Short TV video fictions, 48 live-action films for Sesame Street Bangladesh, 2 short films, and 12 Documentaries. His first feature film Dhaka Attack (2017), a police thriller has won four National Film Awards in 2017 in categories of the Best Film, Best Actor, Best Sound, and Best Make-up.
From early his career, Dipon believed in a wide variety of content. He never selected the same content for another project, Moreover, he never walked in the easy course of the entertainment industry in the country. When he started his career, love and comedy were the safest subject to get popularity. But Dipon got matured by exploring various fictional themes. His subject was always extraordinary like Golden Ratio of 1:1.69, Story of a local bus (Mayer Doa Poribohon), Psychological Transformation of mid-age man (Metamorphosis), story of a university campus-based musical band (Swapno Ghuri), the tale of a clerk moving across the small town with an unidentified corpse at night (Inside of a man), a story of an unusual amount of money order (435.75 taka), the story of a rural astronomer going to the moon (Osman Gani Chande Jabe), the story of a local human hauler (Tempo), Catharsis of University Student ( Catharsis), story of the car which can talk ( Talking Car), story about an anti-smoking vaccine( Bishkhkhoy), story of a magical moneybag which gives unlimited money ( Moneybag Fanrasy), Regular phone call from a dead person ( Phone Call) and may more. All of his productions are enriched rich in a variety of content
He made a movie in 2014 and appeared in the limelight – variety of content was the key success point here also. His first movie, Bangladesh’s first police thriller Dhaka Attack, broke the 21-year business record. Dhaka Attack has formed a new course. It has created a new dimension in the fading film industry of Bangladesh. After the release of Dhaka Attack, many more films were made of the same genre. But director Dipankar Dipon has taken a new path again. He has made Futuristic Social Fiction “Dhaka 2040” and Wildlife Action Thriller “Operation Sundarbans.” Besides, some other movies including the first Bangladeshi film about cyber war “Antarjal (Internet)” and aerial warfare related film “Do or Die,” are in the pipeline.
Also, he was responsible as the ‘live-action film director’ at the ‘Sesame’ workshop under Asiatic since 2006-2012. He made more than 50 live action films during that period. With his one of live-action film ‘Children at Rainy Day’ in2007, Dipon participated talent campus in the International film festival at Berlin, Germany. There he was selected for ‘Talent Project Market 2006’ under European Film Market in Berlinale with his exclusive movie project titled ‘Janani’. Janani was a futuristic film which was only Bangladeshi project got entry in European Film Market through Talent project Market. He also worked with AKFPL (Anurag Kashyap Film Production Limited) in Mumbai from 2012 – 2014. He made a remarkable number of documentaries for many of the leading organizations, including UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, PLAN, Marie Stopes – Bangladesh, among others.
Dipankar Dipon holds a Master’s Degree in Drama and Dramatics from famous Jahangirnagar University. Theater is his passion, and he has been associated with Stage drama since 1992 through Rangpur Infantry. He later completed a one-year theater course in 1995 as a student of the 6th batch from the theater school run by the theater troupe. In 1996, he took admission in the Department of Drama and Dramatics at Jahangirnagar University. He joined Dhaka Theater, the famous theater troupe of the capital. Later, he joined the Bangladesh Gram Theatre. Selim Al Deen, a renowned teacher of Jahangirnagar University was the founder of Bangladesh Gram Theatre. Moreover, Dipon was closely associated with several theater troupes in Rangpur and Dinajpur. He has also received awards at the national level as a director of stage plays. Gradually, he became involved with the visual production in 2002 by removing the direct involvement of the stage drama.
Dipon has also formed an organization “Backend Creators.” From Backend Creators, he has been working to discover the skills in various fields of cinema, including filmmaking. From there, he has formed Backend Online Institute of Film. And the first batch of students of the institute has completed the course. Dipankar Dipon has started also two YouTube channels naming “Vitamin Cinema” and Binodon Dot Beshi. Dipon now lives with his family in Niketan area of Dhaka. His wife Sanjukta Saha is associated with newspapers by profession.
Born in 1976 at Rangpur Medical College Hospital, Dipankar Dipon was brought up in Setabganj of Dinajpur district – where his ancestral origin lies. But his maternal lineage is connected to Rangpur. His father, being an official in a sugar mill in Setabganj, Dipon passed Secondary School Certificate (SSC) from Setabganj Pilot High School, while his primary education was completed in Setabganj Dhontala Primary School.
During his SSC days, he developed a strong bondage with the detective stories. He was addicted to books of detective thrillers. His interest in thriller grew from this time of his life. In line with thrillers, Dipon’s interest in science and cinema developed during this age as well. Being a border region of India, the people of Setabganj could watch TV channels of both Bangladesh and West Bengal. The movies like Gautam Ghosh’s “antorjali Yatra” (Journey through Underwater), Badal Sarkar’s “Emiler Goyenda Dol” (Emil’s Detective Team), Alamgir Kabir’s “Simana Periye” (Crossing the Border), and Satyajit Ray’s “Devi” (The Goddess)- placed an urge inside his subconscious mind to make movies. He crossed the teenage and passed the SSC in close connection with the movies and thriller books. In his family, he was blessed with elder sister and brothers, father, and mother – the most affectionate person of the family. Dipon inherited the habit of reading books from his mother.
He enrolled to HSC in 1991 at Carmichael College, known as the Oxford in the East, where he was in touch to the stage drama. Through the Rangpur Padatik (a local stage play troupe), he joined as a backstage worker in stage plays. The then cultural practices of Rangpur Press Club and Townhall had played an impressive role to develop the cultural consciousness in Dipon. After completing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC), Dipon shifted to Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. In Dhaka, he was linked with the films. After completing a film appreciation course at TSC of Dhaka University, Dipon joined at Film society movement through Dhaka University Film Society . At that time, Dipon pursued a one-year course of theatre by Theater ( one of eminent theatre troupe in Bangladesh). During those days in Dhaka, Dipon focused on studying movies and watching movies of different languages at different embassies. However, he was unable to adjust with the then mainstream commercial cinemas. Also, he was disappointed by the scarcity of alternative genre films and the interest of the film activists’ in theory than practical ones.
In 1996, Dipon got admission in the Department of Drama and Dramatics of Jahangirnagar University. There, he came in close contact with Selim Al Deen, a famous professor and playwright of the country. In fact, Dipon was greatly influenced by Selim al-Deen’s artistic thoughts. Dipon started working in Selim Al Deen’s theater troupe “Dhaka Theater.” Selim al-Deen’s dualistic artistic thoughts firmly influenced Dipon (and he has been practicing the ideology throughout the later stage of his life). During the last stage of his academic studies at Jahangirnagar University, he joined Selim Al Deen’s “Bangladesh Gram Theater.” Through the theater, Dipon explored remote areas of Bangladesh to research and spread folk plays. After completing the graduation, he returned to Rangpur and started working with several theater groups. In line with inspiring the groups to perform quality plays, he also started directing new plays for his own troupe Rangpur Padatik. But Dipon was shocked & frustrated at the narrow politics of stages shows in the district town. So, he returned Dhaka again in 2002, and started pursuing his career in the media industry. With the earned knowledge, skills and overall experience of film appreciation course (pursued between 1993-1995), he started making television movies, television short films and television series.
During 2002 to 2012, he made a notable number of movies, short films and series for television. With his devotion and sincerity, Dipon became one of the best television directors of the time. Also, he won multiple accolades for his direction. Simultaneously, he continued making documentaries and live action film productions. In 2003, he teamed up with famous television personality Mohammad Ali Haider. They jointly formed Swapnoghuri Communication – a visual communication producing company. His short film “Children in Rainy Day” was selected at the Talent Campus of the Berlin Film Festival back in 2006. At the same time, his film project Janani (The Mother) was selected as the only Bangladeshi project at the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market’s Talent Project Market. Dipon participated in the Berlin Film Festival alongside participating in various international workshops.
In 2012, Dipon wrapped making projects for television in Bangladesh. He moved to Mumbai. Famous Indian director Anurag Kashyap was instrumental behind this shifting. Teaming up with Anurag Kashyap, Dipon started writing scripts for some other projects apart from “Janani.” Another of his notable work of those days was a screenplay named “Item Song.” Dipankar Dipon was involved in making of Gangs of Wasseypur, Bombay Velvet, and Ugli under the production of Anurag Kashyap. By this time, Dipon already had developed his distinctive film-making style. The usual art film and commercial films never made him interested. He thought out of the box, and developed the idea of making smart film. He was greatly inspired by the film makers including David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Tarantino, Anurag Kashyap, Bong Joon-ho, Kim Ki-duk, Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Darren Aronofsky, and David Lynch. Dipon took initiative to make movies for himself because he realized that there were many youths like him in Bangladesh who have given up going to the cinema as there were no smart movies.
So, he formed S-Cine-mass (Smart Cinema for mass), an online film organization made up of co-stars. The platform regularly discussed screenplays and film direction. Everyone wrote some screenplays together under S-Cine-mass. Returning to Bangladesh in 2014, he formed Three-Wheelers Limited – a company for film production. Mohammad Ali Haider and Khaledur Rahman Jewel were his partners in this initiative. The local film industry was witnessing the worst days at that time. Only 100 cinema halls were surviving among the 1400. The regular movie investors were reluctant to invest in the movies out of the conventional track fearing financial losses. So, Dipon was rejected several times to pitch his movie idea to several producers. It made him realize that he should take his own initiative to make movies. So, he was in search of a new comer producer who would invest in the making. The idea of the project “Dhaka Attack,” the first police action-thriller of Bangladesh, appeared from such thoughts. The film contract was signed on February 22, 2014. However, lack of funds made the progress slow. The filming began on January 11, 2016 and was wrapped on November 30, 2017. Dhaka Attack was released on October 6, 2017. And it brought a massive positive change to Dipon. Dhaka Attack received lots of success at the box office. Dhaka Attack broke the business record of release without Eid for 21 years. Further, the movie received admiration from critics all around. Dhaka Attack also won the National Film Award in four categories including Best Movie. Since then, Dipon has been passing busy days with multiple film projects. His web film Lilith is about the future of Bangladesh received wide appreciation after it was released on the Indian OTT platform.
Recently, he has completed filming Bangladesh’s first wildlife action-thriller “Operation Sundarbans.” Dipon is also working on the movie “Do or Die” which is on aerial war fair. Another of his project is “Dhaka 2040”- which will tell the tale of the futuristic social fiction, and is “Ontorjal” (The Internet). This is about cyber war.Now, movies are his foods for brain. Movies encircle him in his sleep, and he breathes in movies.