The Irrfan-starrer No Bed of Roses, directed by Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, has been chosen as the country’s official entry to the Oscars in the foreign language film category. No Bed of Roses (also titled Doob) revolves around a renowned director who causes a scandal when he leaves his wife and marries his daughter’s classmate. The cast includes Rokeya Prachi as the director’s wife, Nusrat Imrose Tisha as his daughter and Parno Mittra as his daughter’s childhood friend.

Co-produced by Bangladeshi production house Jaaz Multimedia and India’s Eskay Movies and Irrfan Khan Films, No Bed of Roses was premiered in competition at the 2017 Shanghai International Film Festival. It was subsequently screened at the El Gouna, Busan, Vancouver and Kolkata festivals, and won the Kommersant Weekend Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival.

The film was initially banned in Bangladesh amidst speculation that it is loosely based on the life of renowned filmmaker and writer Humayun Ahmed, who divorced his wife of 27 years and married an actress 33 years younger than him. Farooki denied that the film was a biopic. The ban was eventually lifted and No Bed of Roses was released in October 2017 in Bangladesh.

In an official statement quoted by The Hollywood Reporter, Farooki had said that No Bed of Roses has been inspired by a real-life incident “which shook the very foundation of Bangladesh’s judgmental Muslim society” and depicts “how women struggle in our society and find strength in despair”. The director also told Variety that he hopes that the film “finds some love” at the Oscars despite the tough competition.

No Bed of Roses is Farooki’s third film after Third Person Singular Number (2009) and Television (2012) to be submitted to the Academy Awards. Bangladesh has been submitting films for consideration in the foreign language category since 2002, but is yet to secure a nomination.

The 91st Academy Awards will be held on February 24, 2019. India has chosen Rima Das’s Village Rockstars as its representative.

Doob (No Bed of Roses).