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Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Bobita / ববিতা


Bobita in Satyajit Ray's Ashani Sanket, her most celebrated movie. The poster is for the French-language version of the film.
Born     Farida Akhter Poppy
Jessore, East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh)
Nationality     Bangladeshi
Occupation     Actress
Religion     Islam
Children     Onik (son)
Relatives     Shuchanda (sister)
Champa (sister)
Omor Sunny (Nephew)
Moushumi (Niece in Law)
Riaz (Cousin)

Bobita (Bengali: ববিতা, birth name Farida Akhter) is a Bangladeshi film actress. She was active in the 1970s through 1990s as the leading actress in the industry. Currently Bobita works only in selective roles, but is still active in the Dhallywood celluloid world. She has also participated in several NGOs focusing on the welfare of women and children and founded a community seed bank.

Early life and career

Bobita was born as Farida Akhter. She was born to an educated family that had its origins in the west-Bangladeshi district of Jessore, Bangladesh. Her family nickname was Poppy. She has two sisters and three brothers.

Bobita's brother-in-law Zahir Raihan first cast her for his movie Jaltey Suraj Ka Nichey. The film was not completed in the end but she found a break-through into the Dhaka film industry. Her first released feature was Shesh Porjonto.

The naming of "Bobita"

In an interview with the Independent newspaper in 2004, Bobita says that it was Afzal Chowdhury who suggested the screen name Bobita for her. In another interview with the Daily Star in 2005, she mentions that Zahir Raihan originally casts her for the movie Shongshaar. A different version of the story is that she adopted the name after appearing in Ehtesham's movie Pitch Dhala Path.

Acting career

Bobita's notable work includes Taka Anna Pai, Shorolipi, Manusher Mon, Pich Dhala Path, Noyon Moni, Jonmo Theke Jolchi and Anarkoli. Her acting gained the attention of the Indian director Satyajit Ray. In 1973, Ray cast Bobita in Ashani Sanket ("Distant Thunder"), his film about the Bengal famine of 1943. Bobita appeared in the lead role of Ananga, the demure wife of the village doctor Gangacharan, who was played by long-time Ray favorite Soumitra Chatterjee.

She acted in number of joint venture movie projects in her career, namely: a Bollywood-Bangladesh joint production Movie Door Desh in 1983 (Gehri Chot in Hindi) and also Pakistan-Bangladesh joint venture film Miss Lanka (Nadaani in Urdu) in 1985.

Ashani Sanket won the Golden Bear prize at the 1973 Berlin Film Festival. Bobita's performance was central to the film.

She also acted in Arunodoyer Agnishakkhi (1972) by Subhash Dutta, Dhirey Bohey Meghna (1973) by Alamgir Kabir, Golapi Ekhon Trainey (1978) by Amjad Hossain, Dahan (1986) by Sheikh Niamat Ali, Dipu Number Two (1996) by Morshedul Islam.

Her male co-actors were Razzak, Faruk, Zafar Iqbal, Bulbul Ahmed, and Sohel Rana.

As a producer

After the commercial success of Teen Kannya (1985), a movie produced by her elder sister Suchanda, Bobita became interested to produce movies and hence launched a movie production house named "Bobita Movies." Some of Bobita's produced movies are:

    Ful Shojja
    Lady Smuggler (A Bangladesh-Pakistan-Nepal joint venture movie)
    Poka Makorer Ghor Bosoti (A Bangladesh Govt. sponsored movie)


Bobita won the Best Actress Award at the National Film Awards for several of her movies, some of which are:

    Bandee Thekey Begum (1975)
    Noyon Moni (1976)
    Boshundhora (1977)
    Ramer Shumoti (1985)

Recent career

In 2002, Bobita won a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Hason Raja, Chashi Nazrul Islam's biopic of the Bengali folk-poet. She has also formed her own film-production company and has expressed an interest in directing in the future.

Bobita has campaigned actively on behalf of various social causes in Bangladesh. Notable among the causes she has supported the campaign against throwing acid on women; the national immunization drive for children; and a support group for children who suffer from leukemia. Starting in 2011, Bobita began working with Distressed Children & Infants International as a Goodwill Ambassador.

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