The local film industry, known as Dhallywood, saw dirty games and divisions throughout the year as celebrities abused and physically assaulted each other, resulting in a negative impact on the local film market.
Though 66 films were released in 2017, none of these films could make good profit, citing box office records officials at Bangladesh Film Producers and Distributors Association said. Even the Indian films, imported under SAFTA agreement, and India-Bangladesh joint venture productions starring big stars of Bangladesh and India like Shakib Khan, Dev, Nusrat Faria and others could not hit BO, they said.
The most talked about controversy was disclosure of Dhallywood superstar Shakib’s secret marriage with Dhallywood diva Opu Biswas, which the latter unearthed in a TV interview in April through which she made her first public appearance after a year of complete seclusion.
She claimed that she converted to Islam after marrying Shakib in 2008 and bore him a son in September, 2016.
Their conjugal life was not happy and Shakib served a divorce notice to Opu in December claiming Opu ‘did not follow Islamic customs as an ideal Muslim wife requires doing’. These scandals tarnished careers of both of the stars, who served as propellers to move ahead the sick film industry for the past few years.
In fact, Shakib Khan passed the most ‘horrific year’ in his life as he was allegedly physically assaulted by his colleagues and faced a defamation case filed by an auto-rickshaw driver from Habiganj demanding Tk 50 lakh as compensation as he alleged that the Dhallywood superstar had disclosed his personal mobile number in a film. Also Shakib’s career was threatened as a ban was imposed on him by 23 Dhallywood associations in June alleging that the actor made ‘disparaging comments on senior actors’.
Shakib had to take legal action against the ban to continue his career. He earlier, in May, lodged a general dairy with Tejgaon Police Station alleging that the actor was facing life threats.
Dhallywood actors were also sharply divided in question of election of their association. One group, led by Omar Sunny, Moushumi and others, alleged that winning panel led by Misha Shawdagor and Zayed Khan rigged the election. The defeated panel also filed a case with the district judge court. The winners, however, assumed offices taking order from the court.
The disputes of exhibitors and other associations of Dhallywood in question of release of Indian films and joint venture films, which has been continuing for the past few years, turned for the worst this year. They were engaged in fighting in public places.
In June, President of Bangladesh Motion Picture Exhibitors’ Association and Madhumita cinema owner Iftekhar Uddin Nawshad was physically assaulted by a group of actors and directors in front of Bangladesh Film Censor Board when Iftekhar was coming out from the board office after receiving censor certificates of two India-Bangladesh joint-venture films Boss-2 and Nabab.
Cinema owners under the banner of Bangladesh Motion Picture Exhibitors’ Association later decided to boycott films featuring actors Riaz, Misha Sawdagar and producer Khorshed Alam Khosru protesting at the assault on Naushad.
Not, only mainstream films; controversy, abuse and allegations shrouded the independent or so called ‘alternative film’ market also as Humayun Ahmed’s widow and also an actress Shaon pleaded Bangladesh Film Censor Board not to issue censor certificate to Mustafa Sarwar Farooki’s latest film Doob alleging that Farooki made the film based on the late writer-director Humayun Ahmed’s life without taking any permission.
Before getting censor certificate, Doob participated in several film festivals abroad and bagged Kommersant Jury Prize at the 39th Moscow International Film Festival in July.
In September, Doob got censor certificate and was released in cinemas.
Like the previous years, the indie makers had some success stories to tell. Josim Ahmed’s debut short film Daag had its premiere at the short film corner of French Cannes Film Festival in May. Tauquir Ahmed’s Oggatonama won best film award participating at 57th Asia-Pacific film festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in July.
Taquir’s latest film Haldaa was released in December at home and several other cinemas in the USA, Canada and UAE.
Three times national film award winning actress Jaya Ahsan received Zee Cine Award in best actress (Bengali Film) category for her performance in Kolkata-based Bangla Film Bishorjon in India in December.
The 16th edition of Dhaka International Film Festival, 10th international children’s film festival and Bangladesh Children Film Festival were remarkable film festivals held in 2017.
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