Bangladesh Film Distributors’ Association is once again demanding that Bollywood movies in Bangladesh be allowed in local movie theatre. Around two weeks back, Sudipto Kumar Das, adviser to the association, made the demand at a meeting with Information Minister Hasan Mahmud. For the past one year, they have been seeking the opportunity to screen Bollywood films in their cinemas in a way “that those local films are not impacted”. They want five to 10 Bollywood movies to be screened in a year.
They association also claims there will be no need to import foreign films once the situation of the local film industry normalizes. Interestingly, producers and filmmakers of the country are also not opposed importing Bollywood films this time, though they vehemently opposed it in 2015.
Taking into consideration the overall situation of the domestic film industry, they are now in agreement with the movie theater owners.Seeking anonymity, a producer said that their priority, first and foremost, was to save movie theatres, which would not survive without films. Therefore, the screening of foreign movies has to be allowed in the country as a temporary measure, he added.
Though there are currently 20 movies in producers’ hands, they are not releasing them, fearing losses. Since movie theatres opened on 16 October, only two films have been released, which explains why most cinemas remain shut. Indian films in Bangladeshi theatres:
Though movie house owners have been actively trying to import Bollywood films, Indian films have not had a good showing in the local box office over the last few years. Several Indian Bengali movies were released in the country under the SAPTA agreement with India, but were unable to do good business.
Even Salman Khan’s movie ‘Wanted,’ which was released in around 50 cinemas across the country in 2015, failed to attract an audience. Kolkata’s movies ‘Khoka, ‘Khoka 420’, ‘Beporoa’, ‘BelaSeshe’, ‘HaripadaBandwala, ‘Yeti Obhijaan,’ ‘Posto,’ ‘JeoPagla,’ ‘Inspector Naughty K’ and ‘Bisorjan’ released at different times were also box office failures in Bangladesh.