Ghost Boat Wins €2000 IEFTA Prize at Dhaka

Ghost Boat Wins €2000 IEFTA Prize at Dhaka

No less than twenty South Asian & Asian Pacific projects were showcased during the 2022 Dhaka DocLab pitch sessions, attended virtually by IEFTA’s Lianne & Riaya on 5th and 6th of September 2022. GHOST BOAT, about a mother’s search for her trafficked son, was selected by the Dhaka DocLab Jury for the IEFTA Prize of €2000. Tanim Yousuf and Kauser Haider are co-directing the film, their first feature documentary, with Arif Yousef producing.

Ghost Boat

Amena is searching for her son, Joynal, who was illegally trafficked by boat from Bangladesh to Malaysia. She teams up with trafficking survivor Abdus to retrace her son’s steps and shine light on the plight of parents who lost their children to a treacherous journey across the sea.


Global migration flows are poised to reach ever-new heights in the coming years, as people escape poverty and war in search of a better life – only to face exploitation, criminalization, and often death. While more economically empowered migrants may be able to travel by air or land, migration by boat is reserved for the poorest, most vulnerable populations, whose despair renders them easy prey for reckless people smugglers. It is important that we start listening to the unheard voices of the victims of this global injustice, and of the families and communities they leave behind.

€2000 IEFTA Prize Winner 2022

Kauser Haider
Kauser Haider

Kauser Haider is a documentary photographer, cinematographer and visual practitioner from Bangladesh. He graduated from the Pathshala South Asian Media Academy, and has participated in various international workshops conducted by renowned practitioners such as Philip Blenkinsop, Shannon Lee Castleman, Shorab Hura, Abir Abdullah, and Munem Wasif. He also attended documentary filmmaking workshops, and participated in Dhaka Doclab 2020 as a participant with “Ghost Boat”. Among projects he has completed are a story of handicapped children in Nepal, and the exhibition A Hall Full of Cinema which was featured internationally in the Angkor, Singapore, and Delhi photo festivals, as well as the Bangladesh National Art Exhibition. Kauser is a freelance teacher and co-founder of MasTul (art collective) in Chittagong. He is also a Managing Partner of Mastul Productions.

Tanim Yousuf Director
Tanim Yousuf

Tanim Yousuf is a Bangladeshi filmmaker and co-founder of Mastul Productions, a recently founded production company based in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He has participated in a variety of filmmaking labs and workshops, including Dhaka DocLab in 2019 and 2020, and he serves as a jury member Liberation DocFest Bangladesh. He is also a member of MasTul (art collective) and Bistaar (art complex) in Chittagong. Tanim holds a B.Sc in Textile Engineering from City University Dhaka. Tanim views filmmaking as an essential strategy for exposing and addressing the social crises faced by his home country. Ghost Boat is his first feature-length documentary, and he is co-directing the film with fellow Bangladeshi filmmaker, Kauser Haider.

Patrick Hamm
Patrick Hamm

Patrick Hamm is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of Bulldog Agenda, a production company with offices in Berlin and Brooklyn. A Berlinale Talents and Dok.incubator alumnus, he specializes in creative documentary and character-driven impact films. He has produced several documentaries on the theme of migration and displacement, including most recently the award-winning This Rain Will Never Stop (2020; IDFA, True/False), which portrays a Syrian-Ukrainian Red Cross Worker as he tries to navigate the human toll of two wars; and the autobiographical short Before I Forget (2018; Leiden Shorts, St. Louis IFF) by Syrian-born director Razan Hassan. Patrick is also the producer of the award-winning Freedom For the Wolf (IDFA, Sheffield DocFest, Slamdance, Cinema for Peace), an epic investigation into the global rise of illiberal democracy; and executive producer of Copwatch (Tribeca) and Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island: Garenne (Arte, BBC). Patrick holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University and a B.A. in Ethics, Politics & Economics from Yale University.

Arif Yousuf Producer
Arif Yousuf

Arif Yousuf is a Bangladeshi producer currently based in New York City. Beyond his professional work as an IT executive, he has a long-standing interest in documentary film and South Asian society. He directed and produced the feature-length documentary Blockade (2016), which tells the story of nonviolent peace activists responding to a humanitarian crisis in South Asia in 1971. Arif has been working with the directors of Ghost Boat since the inception of the project, supporting the film both creatively and finanially. He plans to support additional documentary projects and talents from South Asia in the future.