He also thanked the information and broadcasting minister, saying “We were afraid that the number of movie theatres would decrease significantly.

But, now the number of movie theatres has been increasing very fast due to the directives of the prime minister and activities of the information and broadcasting minister and the people are going to theatres again. The time-befitting decision of giving grants to the commercial films has played a pivotal role to this end.”

Parichalak Samity president Sohanur Rahman Sohan said the persons who talked about to stop providing grants to commercial films, don’t they want the film industry to survive and people to go to the movie theatres? “But, we can see the evidence that the film industry is rejuvenated now for the grant,” he added.

Projojak-Paribeshok Samity former Khorshed Alam Khasru said the commercial films are the life of the country’s film industry and a place of entertainment of millions of people. The film industry would be developed more if the number of grant increases, he added.

In his speech, Hasan Mahmud said the films of the country are moving ahead despite facing many adversities. A number of timeless movies were made and artistes were born through the FDC (Bangladesh Film Development Corporation) and the movies had played a role in building the movement of independence, struggle of freedom and building post-independent Bangladesh, he added.

He further said many films have achieved awards in the international arena and many films of the country are being screened in many countries including Europe and the US.

Mahmud said once many films which were produced by grant would not be released at movie theatres while many didn’t produce art films in spite of taking grant. The government is now taking steps and cases are being lodged against them, he added.

The minister said his ministry is giving importance to the commercial films to protect the film industry. The art films and documentaries are also taking the grants, he added.

He also said the amount of grants has increased two times and it is now Tk 200 million while the amount of grant of a film is Tk 7.5 million which was Tk 3-4 million only.

For this, he said, the number of movie theatres has also increased and the number is now 210 which was only 65. Besides, a special fund of Tk 10 billion has been formed under the directives of the prime minister to provide loan with easy interest for constructing cineplex, movie theatres, reconstruction of theatres and renovation. The good days of the film industry have returned, said Hasan, also joint general secretary of ruling Awami League.

Urging all to remain together, the minister said it is very important to provide grants to the commercial films as per the global and Covid-19 pandemic situations.

He said the government under the supervision of prime minister Sheikh Hasina has taken various initiatives for the industry (film) to bring back the golden days and to capture a dignified position in the global screenland.

Censor board can question films showing half-truths

Hasan Mahmud said that the Bangladesh Film Censor Board can question if a film is made based on true events but doesn’t show the complete truth.

He minister said this at the secretariat replying to journalists when asked about the necessity of censor board in Bangladesh in light of banning director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki’s film ‘Shonibar Bikel’, loosely based on Gulshan Holey Artisan Bakery attack.

“India has the largest film industry and it has censor boards for each of its states. Censor board is a must and those who question its necessity their understanding of it itself is questionable,” added Hasan.

Bangladesh has a censor board since the birth of film industry in Bangladesh and it will remain so, he said.

“We keep it under surveillance so that censor board doesn’t take any unnecessary steps. Questions that have been raised regarding censor board are being inspected,” he added.

About the film grant, he said, “The grant is not only to provide for art films ignoring the mainstream ones. Grants are for all types of movies and it should be admitted that of all genres, mainstreams are mainly the commercial films.”

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