Foreign films trump local cinemas

Foreign films trump local cinemas
Due to shortage of new local films, cinemas across the country are screening foreign films to attract viewers. Only one local film Abbas was released after Eid-ul-Fitr so the cinema owners are being forced to screen foreign films, said industry insiders.

Abbas was released in 37 cinemas including Star Cineplex, Madhumita and others on July 5 across the country but currently running at 14 cinemas. The majority of the cinemas are screening imported Indian Bengali film Kidnap and are also scheduled to screen Indian films namely Sesh Theke Shuru, Bibaha Abhijan and Bhutchakra, in the upcoming weeks leading up to Eid-ul-Azha. 

Besides, Star Cinelplex and Blockbuster Cinemas are releasing at least one Hollywood film in every week. The dearth of local films is impacting the film industry heavily which is already smarting under a number of problems, including in attracting new investments.

When contacted regarding this matter, Film Exhibitors Association president Iftekharuddin Nawshad, also the owner of Madhumita Cinema Hall, said that cinema owners have no option but to screen foreign films if they want to keep their halls open.

'We have no option but to screen foreign films as only one local film Abbas was released after Eid-ul-Fitr. Cinemas cannot survive by screening one film alone. To attract film lovers we have no option but to screen Indian Bengali films. Otherwise the halls will go out of business,' said Iftekharuddin Nawshad.

When contacted, president of Bangladesh Film Directors' Association Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar said, 'The production of local films have decreased gradually because producers have lost interest in investing in this sector. That is why foreign films are running in cinemas.'

Gulzar blamed the booking agents for the current situation. 'If the producers get their money back from the booking agents within a week, they will invest more in films. I hope the situation will improve within the next six months because a number of good films are now on shooting floors,' he added. Abbas actor Nirob Hossain blamed importers of Indian films for the situation.

'There is a syndicate that wants to run the Indian Bengali films instead of local films in our cinemas. This is impacting the country's film industry. My film Abbas was released in 37 cinemas across the country but cinema owners dropped my film to screen imported Indian Bengali film Kidnap, which failed to draw the film lovers,' said Nirob. 
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