BFDC building demolition draws mixed reactions

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 22:57, Jul 11,2020


This photo taken on Saturday shows workers demolishing an old building floor No 3 and 4 on BFDC premises. — Sony Ramany

Bangladesh Film Development Corporation is demolishing its old building to make way for a new 15-storey commercial building.

Bangladesh Film Development Corporation managing director Nuzhat Yasmin confirmed the matter to New Age.

‘The project was approved in the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council in October 2018. The project’s estimated cost is TK 322 crore. The demolition of the building will take about two months. The design of the new building will be finalised within 15 days. The old dilapidated building was not safe. I hope the new building will help improve the country’s film industry,’ Nuzhat Yasmin told New Age.

The new building will feature modern facilities, including shooting spaces to facilitate indoor shooting, accommodate cineplexes, shopping mall, food court, community centre, library and research centre etc, informed BFDC authority.

The demolition work, which commenced on July 5, has drawn mixed reactions from the industry insiders.

Bangladesh Film Producers’ Association president Khorshed Alam Khasru thinks the new multi-storey building will not benefit the local film scene.

‘The building will not benefit the country’s film scene or people associated with the industry. The only beneficiary will be the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation as the commercial building will boost its earning and the 255 staff members of the organisation will be benefited. There will be a five star hotel, community centre, a shopping mall and they will rent out those spaces. If the government had allocated Tk 100 crore for the development of local cinemas and films, the film scene would have received a huge boost,’ said Khorshed Alam Khasru.

‘Earlier, we used to say that if producers survive, the industry will live on. Now we are saying that if cinemas survive then the film scene will survive as well. In the past there were 1,300 cinemas across the country and now the number has dropped to 65. I think between 20 and 25 cinemas will be shut down due to COVID-19. If there are no cinemas left, where will our films be screened?’ Khorshed asked.

Bangladesh Film Directors’ Association president Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar welcomed the initiative.

‘I think that the new building will help our film scene in many ways because the old building was left abandoned for a long time. The floor No 3 and No 4 were used only for editing. Besides, the building was not in a good shape. The new building will house three cineplexes, two studios, two auditoriums, film distribution office and others, which will greatly benefit our industry,’ Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar argued.

‘I think that the shopping mall and restaurant will help to draw a good number of people to the BFDC premises,’ he continued.

Bangladesh Film Artistes’ Association general secretary Zayed Khan hopes that the BFDC authority will prioritise the interests of local film scene over the commercial benefits.

‘The old building was left abandoned for a long time. The construction of the new building was proposed around 15 years ago. It is indeed a nice initiative. If the building is turned into a five star hotel, then it will not benefit the film industry or people associated with it. Let’s hope for the best,’ said Zayed Khan.

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