The Bangladeshi film market in recent years has been a dismal failure and quite removed from the socioeconomic reality on the ground, said researcher Dr Md Serajur Rasul at a seminar on Thursday.
Rasul based his observation on the findings of a study that he had conducted on the film market, audience expectations, and the problems and prospects of the industry.
The event, held at the projection hall of Bangladesh Film Archive, was attended by the archive director general Jahangir Hossain, professor Mahbubul Mokaddem Akash, Bangladesh Film Exhibitors’ Association secretary general Mia Alauddin, and film producer Abdul Aziz.
In his research, Serajur Rasul followed the empirical method to survey 200 individuals of different age groups and educational backgrounds to know their opinion on – and expectations from – the industry.
‘The recent past of our film market was pretty dismal with little profit for the producers. We’re clearly going through the worse period in the history of the industry,’ said Rasul.
Most of the cinemas are either closed or nearing closure because of the poor business and the producers are moving away from the industry.
‘In the last 20 years or so, the number of cinemas has decreased from 1200 to 250. It shows the appalling condition of the market,’ said Rasul.
He also spoke of the viewers’ expectations and complaints. Citing his research findings, he said most viewers do not go to the cinemas any longer. Moreover, they have lost interest in local films because of their poor quality.
‘Around 66% of the respondents complained of low quality while over 80% of them complained of the sorry state of the cinemas.
‘As for their expectations, the audience like good script, talented/new artistes, good music, direction and location, new technologies, socially relevant stories, and a good environment inside the cinemas,’ he said.
While commenting on the keynote paper, producer Abdul Aziz said the average production cost of a local film is now Tk 12,500,000, while the average turnover per film is 2,700,000.
‘If the government does not interfere to save the industry, no single person or initiative can do it,’ he added.
In his speech, professor Mohbubul Mokaddedm Akash spoke of the discrepancy in the demand and supply chain of the film market.
‘The type of films the industry produces does not match with the demand of the viewers. Similarly, the type of cinemas we want is not there. The government and relevant authorities should address these issues to revive the industry,’ he said.
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