They have released a detailed press statement with these demands and if these demands are not met by the government then they will start a strike from April 12 by closing every cinema hall in Bangladesh
Bangladesh Motion Picture Exhibitor Association demanded changes to "the regulations to distribute foreign films and to raise the number of productions of local films," at a recent press conference on Wednesday, March 13, at the capital’s Reporter’s Unity.
They have released a detailed press statement with these demands and if these demands are not met by the government then they will start a strike from April 12 by closing every cinema hall in Bangladesh.
The written statement of the organization was read by its Chief Advisor, Sudipta Kumar Das. Bangladesh Motion Picture Exhibitor Association President Iftekhar Uddin Nowshad and Advisors Mirza Abdul Khaleque, Mia Alauddin, Abul Hossain and members Alamgir Sikder Loton, R Yunus Rubel, Sharifuddin Elahi, Samrat Awlad, and Hossain Ujjal, were also present at the press event.
Dhaka Tribune’s Showtime contacted Iftekhar Uddin Nowshad, owner of well known Modhumita Cinema Hall and president of Bangladesh Motion Picture Exhibitor Association, for comment on their recent decision.
Nowshad said: “There are 174 cinema halls within this organization. As of now, 100 to 150 halls have agreed to this decision and will be shut down from April 12. A few will close sooner than the proposed deadline.”
“Only 35 films were produced locally this year. Even 50 films every year won’t help this industry survive. We want to distribute Indian films and subcontinental films, or this industry will die,” he added.
He then forcefully said: “Enough is enough already. Our quality in movies won’t rise without competition. We have already deteriorated our quality by protecting our industry for years and years which visibly did not work.”
“There is no film of Shakib Khan now. The recent ‘Fagun Haway’ didn’t get an audience. And now we are forced to run a film like ‘Jodi Akdin’ for the second week for lack of films in our pipeline. The last film that ran successfully in theatres and people enjoyed was ‘Debi.’ If Hollywood English films are allowed in this country then subcontinental films should be allowed too.”
Moreover, numerous film organizations have been protesting for a long time against the Indian film imports, and specifically the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta) Treaty, which allows for the import and distribution of South Asian films. These organizations say that these foreign films are hurting the local film market.
Earlier, The Appellate Division of Supreme Court on May 10 banned the import, distribution and screening of foreign films, including Indian Bangla, Hindi, or Pakistani films, during the national festivals such as the two Eids, Puja, and Pohela Boishakh.
The bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed the order after hearing an appeal against the High Court order that had stayed the import of jointly produced and foreign films for screening in local theatres.
Barrister Moniruzzaman Asad told the press that the High Court on May 10 stayed the import of such films after hearing a petition filed by Nipa Enterprise owner, Selina Begum.
On the same month, Bangladesh Motion Picture Exhibitor Association President, Iftekhar Uddin Nowshad, filed an appeal with the Appellate Division challenging that order.
The apex court reviewed the order but allowed screening of jointly produced films in those days, but banned foreign films.