Suhanur Rahman Sohan died: 13 September 2023) was a luminary in the Bangladeshi film industry, more commonly known as Dhallywood. Renowned for directing romantic films, he was instrumental in shaping the careers of several actors who later became superstars, such as Shakib Khan. Sohan started his illustrious career under the mentorship of Shibli Sadik and made his mark with his debut film Biswas Abiswas in 1988. He also served as the principal of the Universal Performing Arts Institute. His untimely demise on September 13, 2023, left a void in the Dhallywood film industry.
Early Career and Influences
Sohan’s journey in the film industry began in 1977 as an assistant director to Shibli Sadik, a role that offered him invaluable experiences and insights into the world of cinema. He didn’t stop there; his enthusiasm for filmmaking led him to work as an assistant in several other films, such as Shahidul Haque Khan‘s Kalmilata (1981), A J Mintu‘s Ashanti (1986), and once again under Shibli Sadik in Wet Eyes (1988).
The Big Break: Biswas Abiswas
Sohan got his first opportunity to step into the limelight with Biswas Abiswas in 1988. It was his first film as a solo and lead director, and it set the stage for his future successes.
The Golden Era: Key Films and Contributions
Launching New Talent: Keyamat Theke Keyamat
In 1993, Sohan directed Keyamat Theke Keyamat, a remake of the Hindi film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1989), which starred Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. The film was a breakthrough for him and also served as the launching pad for Salman Shah and Moushumi, actors who would go on to make significant contributions to Dhallywood.
The Rise of Shakib Khan
“Mr. Aziz Reza gave me find out of Shakib Khan. At first he gave me still pictures. He was very much requesting to chance Shakib (Khan). I wanted to see the boy face to face in his requests. Mr. Aziz brought him to our office. We liked him at first sight. Shakib deserved to be a hero. I give chance him to the movies because I saw something like that in him. Someone may have requested to take him or I gave him the opportunity. But the fact is that he was worthy.”
This quote from Sohan epitomizes how he identified and nurtured talent. In 1999, he directed Ananta Bhalobasha, which marked the on-screen debut of Shakib Khan and Erin Zaman, the younger sister of actress Moushumi. Although the film did not achieve commercial success, it did succeed in introducing Shakib Khan, who would later become a colossal figure in Dhallywood.
Other Notable Films
Sohan continued to contribute to Dhallywood with other notable films like Amar Jaan Amar Pran (2008), Poran Jai Jolia Re (2010), and Se Amar Mon Kereche (2012). Each of these films added a new dimension to his career and enriched Dhallywood’s repertoire.
The Universal Performing Arts Institute
Apart from his work in films, Sohan served as the principal of the Universal Performing Arts Institute. His role here was vital in shaping the next generation of artists, ensuring his legacy would live on through the talents he nurtured.
Personal Life and Tragedy
On September 12, 2023, a tragic event unfolded in Sohan’s life when his wife passed away in her sleep at their residence. Stricken by grief and stress, Sohan was rushed to the hospital the next day after suffering a brain stroke.
Sohan breathed his last on September 13, 2023, at Crescent Hospital in the capital, just a day after the death of his wife. His passing marked the end of an era in Dhallywood, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to influence Bangladeshi cinema for years to come.
Sohan’s work has left an indelible mark on Dhallywood. He was a pioneer in many ways, from launching new talents to directing films that became landmarks in Bangladeshi cinema. His ability to recognize and nurture talent has made him a legend, and his contributions to the film industry will be remembered for generations to come.
Suhanur Rahman Sohan was not just a film director; he was a visionary who saw the potential in young talent and gave them platforms to shine. From his early days under the mentorship of Shibli Sadik to his last days, he remained a cornerstone in the Dhallywood film industry. His untimely death leaves a void that will be hard to fill, but his legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of cinephiles and the annals of Dhallywood history.