For years, cinema hall owners have been demanding the release of Indian films in Bangladesh, as a way of coping up with losses, but several associations were against the idea.
However, the pandemic has changed the circumstances. After the government approved the reopening of cinema halls, only two new films were released in theatres. Many halls, on the other hand, announced their permanent closures.
Bearing that in mind, the government spoke to members of the Directors', Producers', and Exhibitors' Associations of Bangladesh to come to a decision about saving the film fraternity, which is highly dependent on cinema halls. The government recently granted a soft loan to the film industry.
"Cinema halls need to survive and sustain," says Khorshedul Alam Khosru, President, Bangladesh Film Producers' Association. "The pandemic has led to many challenges for us and to save our industry, we have agreed to bring Indian films to Bangladesh."
Khosru also stated that they held a meeting with the Information Minister, Hasan Mahmud. According to him, the minister supported their decision.
Khosru also mentioned that doing so will provide the local film industry with some good competition.
"Even though late, I am glad that the associations have understood the situation of hall owners," states Iftekhar Uddin Naushad, owner of Modhumita. "When I demanded this years ago, I was humiliated and even physically abused by some people from different associations, who are now supporting the import of Indian films. Moreover, I want to observe the situation after these releases. I don't plan to reopen Modhumita for the time being." Naushad is also the former president of the Hall Owners' Association, Bangladesh.
The plan is in its initial stage, Mia Alauddin, President, Bangladesh Film Exhibitors' Association, informed The Daily Star.
"If we bring selected movies and release them on the same days as India, I believe that we will attract a large audience," says Alauddin. "There is no point in bringing a movie after three to six months of its release."