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Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema

Bangladesh’s film industry is experiencing a renaissance, and at its forefront is a talented and charismatic actress whose presence on the silver screen has captivated audiences across the nation. This rising star, whose name is gaining prominence everyday, is none other than Sunerah Binte Kamal. With her exceptional talent, versatility, and dedication, Sunerah is paving the way for a new era of Bangladeshi cinema. During a conversation with TINDS, Sunerah shared with us her story of stepping into the world of media and making it to the silver screen.

TINDS: Tell us a little about your childhood.

Sunerah: My sister and I were both born in Rangpur, but we grew up in Dhaka. I studied in Scholastica and for a very long time my entire world revolved around the school only. I was very much involved in extracurricular activities like drama classes, basketball, volleyball, badminton, participating in annual functions etc.

TINDS: What 3 words do you think describes you the best?

Sunerah: Hard-working, Lazy(on free days) & Emotional.

Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema
Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema

TINDS: How did you get into the world of media? Tell us a little about the start.

Sunerah: My mother got me admitted to a music school when I was very young and figured along the way that it would be better if I learned dancing instead of music. I learned classical dance forms and I used to be one of the enlisted dancers of BTV. There was this ramp show based on poems and songs of Rabindranath Tagore where they preferred people who were involved in dancing. They got my contact information from BTV probably and that was my first ever ramp show. Then I worked with brands like Aarong & Ecstasy, and ramp shows were a daily thing. I have actually always wanted to be an actress from my childhood and I did not like most scripts or stories that I went through initially. Once I heard the script of No dorai I was instantly hooked. I was once told by someone at a show that models cannot be good actresses and I took it very personally and obviously he wasn’t aware of the fact that he was talking to someone who has participated in theaters. I wanted to do a character stepping out of the usual glamor that actresses are put in and challenge myself, and my character in No dorai was exactly that.

Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema
Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema

TINDS: How did the transition happen from modeling to the silver screen?

Sunerah: I was a very known face in the modeling industry and I started getting offers very earlier than I actually showed up on screen. I have also done TV commercials and I was not actually into any of the scripts that I read before No dorai. The entire cast, story, script and mainly the character that I played in the movie seemed very challenging to me and I liked it for that reason.

TINDS: Do you think winning the National Award for Best Actress on your very first film is putting some kind of pressure on you moving forward in your career?

Sunerah: No dorai received 6 National Awards and my other film Moshari got at least 11 international awards.It was overwhelming, and I would be lying if I say this did not worry me. Then I figured I shouldn’t feel that way because competition is always nice and secondly, if I believe the character that I am playing and be able to make it believable for the audience, I don’t think I am replaceable.

Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema
Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema

TINDS: How long does it usually take to finish shooting for a movie?

Sunerah: When the shooting starts, it usually takes an entire year to get it over with. There are a few directors who prioritize finishing shooting very early to be within budget. Web films usually finish a lot earlier because of budget restrictions.

TINDS: Who do you look up to as an inspiration?

Sunerah: Jaya Ahsan, because she is just amazing. Also, I would like to mention that since I’ve been a model first, I always wanted to be an actress and I hoped to be a good one. Whenever I’d come across Arifin Shuvoo on the cover of a magazine or a newspaper, it would motivate me a lot because he’s doing so well in the industry given the fact that he’s been a model first also.

Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema
Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema

TINDS: How was your experience of working in your latest upcoming film Antarjal?

Sunerah: It was very new and hectic. Antarjal is very different from No dorai & Moshari, the two of my prior films. My co-actors in the film have been in the industry for far too long than I’ve been and there’s so much more to a commercial film than just good acting. There are a lot of restrictions as well in order to make sure everything goes on smoothly. I don’t know if I could do my best but I definitely tried. It’s releasing on the 22nd of September and we’re hoping for the best.

TINDS: What would you be if not an actress or a model?

Sunerah: I’d probably still be an actress. I’ve always wanted to be one and I have never dreamt of being anything else really. I’m learning new things with every new character I am playing and it’s like getting to be someone in a different occupation with every new role.

TINDS: What have you had to struggle with coming this far?

Sunerah: There’s been a lot of it and I am really not comfortable talking about it because it feels like it’s being told to gain sympathy.

Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema
Sunerah Binte Kamal: The Rising Star of Bangladeshi Cinema

TINDS: What would your advice be to younger people?

Sunerah: First of all, everybody has to accept themselves the way they are and not react to how people expect them to be. It’s very important for people to be comfortable in their own skin and be real.

 

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