Hill Film Festival is held in Rangamati, Chittagong Hill Tracts and in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. The festival focuses mainly the indigenous language films of Bangladesh, though it is open to films of every languages and forms. The festival was incepted in 2014 and the 6th edition of the festival is scheduled to be happened on November 28-30, 2024. It is held every two years.


Though filmmaking in the indigenous languages started in 1990s in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh, the rate is very low and yet no film gets theatrical release in the country. So, there is no regular screening platform for those films and those films are not well introduced both in the national and global arena. In this context, to be a platform for those films and to introduce them to the larger audiences, Hill Film Festival was incepted in 2014 in Rangamati. Later, the festival has shifted it’s focus to the indigenous language films of the country where the scenario is same. And there is another story.


In 2011, the Awami Leauge led government amended Bangladesh constitution (15th Amendment). At that time, many political parties and right activists claimed constitutional recognition for the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh. It is said that, more than 50 indigenous communities live in the country with distinct language, culture and tradition. However, instead of recognizing them as indigenous people, the government used tribe, minor races, ethnic sect and communities at an article. Though, to establish Bengali hegemony, the government stated that people of Bangladesh shall be known as Bangalees as a nation. Bangalee is also a linguistic and ethnic identity who comprises the 98% of total Bangladesh population [Bangladesh National Portal].


In practice, Upajati (Bengali translation of the tribal word) and Khudronrighosthi (small ethnic groups) are used to define them which are also denied by the political parties and right activists who claimed constitutional recognition for the indigenous people. Thus, the words Upajati/Khudronrighosthi and Adivasi (Bengali Translation of the word indigenous) contest each other but both are present in the socio-political domain. In this whole identity puzzle, the festival started its journey, in 2014, and used the tagline Cinema for Identity for some years after the beginning of the festival. Through this, the festival not only encouraged the filmmakers to ask/search/claim/deny the identity politics but also promotes filmmaking in their mother tongue.



Though the festival does not use any tagline now, the reality is almost same.




Adit Dewan

Promod Chakma

Turin Tanchangya



Adit Dewan



Adit Dewan

Mittra Dewan

Nonabi Chakma

Paddmini Chakma

Santua Tripur