With the advent of the Ramadan, many cinemas have started screening old films accused of obscenity as no new film get released during the period.
Many exhibitors are screening films with vulgar and graphic content like sensuous scenes, high level violence and others in cinemas across the country to attract viewers in the lean period as it happens every year in the Ramadan.
These films, Bangladesh Film Censor Board officials said, acquired permission from the censor board 15 to 20 years back taking advantage of the then relaxed rules.
Different film associations have expressed concern at the screening of such films while Bangladesh Film Exhibitors Association leaders said they would send letters to the members not to screen such films.
Dhaka district administration said it would not allow screening of such films though there is no legal bar of exhibiting a film that got censor certificate.
‘It is unfortunate that censor board gave certificates to some films having vulgar contents and some exhibitors screen those in the Ramadan to attract viewers’, said M Iftekhar Uddin, president of Bangladesh Film Exhibitors’ Association.
‘We would send letters to our members not to screen such films, he said.
While visiting different cinemas in the capital New Age found films like Order, Dakurani, Lucky Seven, Katalash and Jadrel were being screened at cinema halls like Chhanda (Farmgate), Asia (Mirpur), Parbat (Gabtali), Rajia (Kakrail) and Azad Mansion (Motijheel).
In the random interviews, exhibitors justified their position of screening such films saying they were screening those films as those films have legal censor certificate.
The exhibitors’ association leaders said the censor board must review the censor certificates of such films to control their screenings.
‘The censor board should review censor certificates of these films issued 20 years back,’ said Mia Alauddin, advisor of Bangladesh Film Exhibitors’ Association, adding that the board also should invigilate the cinemas regularly to see whether the cinemas are screening obscene films and cut-pieces.
There are many records in the past when a film’s censor certificate has been withdrawn after it was released, he said.
Censor board officials said they did not have any plan of reviewing censor certificates of the films issued two decades ago but they claimed they regularly invigilate cinemas to see whether there is any anomaly.
‘We take action against a film if the film, when screened at the cinemas, do not match with the film’s copy which received censor certificate’, Munshi Jalal Uddin, secretary of Bangladesh film censor Board, told New Age.
Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka district Mohammad Salah Uddin said cinemas would not be allowed to screen such films. ‘We will warn the cinema owners to stop screening such films and if necessary, we would take action’, he said.
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