Local filmmakers and artists hailed the government decision to put on hold India-Bangladesh joint venture films until a new policy is set in place.
Celebrated Director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki said joint production can be beneficial to both parties only when the participation of the countries is equal in the film, which had not been the case for a number of years now.
Actor and president of Cholochitro Shilpi Samiti, Misha Sowdagar, who played a key role in protesting against these joint productions, said: “We’ve always wanted the development of our films through joint productions. I hope the new policy reflects our interest.”
Local artists have been protesting against these films for a number of months as the movies clearly flout the rules set for taking up such ventures.
Actor Faruq and Misha Soudagar presented a number of proposals in a meeting with the Ministry of Information on Sunday on how to further develop the Bangladeshi film industry.
The Ministry of Information made a number of decisions regarding the issues of joint venture films.
Reviewing the proposed proposals, the ministry decided to create a new policy for the rapid development of film through Bangladesh-India joint productions. It also decided to postpone activities related to joint production films until the new policy is made into law.
Meanwhile, much of the ire of local artists has been directed at a single production company in particular.
The activists alleged that Jaaz Multimedia had been flagrantly flouting Article 6 of the regulations relating to joint productions which states that there needs to be parity in terms of artist, crew and location in a joint venture film.
“Joint producers will determine the number of lead artists and crews based on the joint venture agreement. The number of artists and crew members has to be kept equal in this regard. Location of filming will also have to be selected in an equal ration in the same manner,” the Article reads.
Jaaz Multimedia controls over the 256 theatres around the country, since it began to operate in Bangladesh in 2011.
Problems began when the Censor Preview Committee recently received a letter from the Chalachitra Oikya Jote asking the committee to investigate if the films Nabab and Boss 2 were made in accordance with the rules of joint production.
With Jaaz Multimedia’s entry in the market, Dhalliwood witnessed a rapid rise in the number of Indo-Bangla venture films recently. Founded in 2011 by Shish Manwar, the company soon turned into one of the largest film production companies in Bangladesh, with an average production of ten films a year.
Interestingly, the company started collaborating with Kolkata’s Esaky movies in 2011 as well. Jaaz and Eskay Multimedia together produced a major number of commercially successful films, including Bhalobasar Rong, Onnorokom Bhalobasha, Pora Mon, Bhalobasa Aaj Kal, Agnee, Shikari, Niyoti, Rokto.
Although almost all of the Jaaz-Eskay ventures are remakes of international movies, mostly Telegu, they managed to do well in the Bangladeshi box-office. A large part of that is due to their business policy and alliance with United Mediaworks. Under their partnership, United Mediaworks has provided its digital cinema production and distribution technology to over 256 screens in Bangladesh.
In almost 30 years of joint movie production with India that produced some classic hits from the 80s such as Padma Nadir Majhi, the joint venture has seen many ups and downs but never a directive to hold all production like the directive on Sunday.