Film industry

2021, the year a struggling film industry rose like a phoenix

According to many tired and retired moviegoers and industry experts, the “industry almost dying” has watched the return of moviegoers to multiplexes and theaters across the country, celebrating a few major releases – which put the year on a reboot mode, looking for an even better future

After suffering the wrath of the current global COVID-19 pandemic for most of the past two years, the film industry in Bangladesh has finally made its long-awaited glorious comeback this year with a handful of quality films and lineups of film. ‘waiting for tickets outside the cinema halls.

The “near-dying industry,” according to many tired and retired moviegoers and industry experts, has watched the return of moviegoers to multiplexes and movie theaters across the country, celebrating a few major releases – which have put the year on a reboot mode, looking for an even better future.

According to data collected from movie theater producers, distributors and authorities across the country, there are currently less than 60 active movie theaters showing films in Bangladesh. The number is surprisingly low, considering that Bangladesh had around 250 active cinemas before the pandemic and over a thousand racing theaters in the 1990s.

Read also – Best films of 2021: Part I

It is an undeniable fact that the film industry across the world has suffered the ravages of the pandemic; however, the situation in Bangladesh had worsened for so long, even before the pandemic. The industry drowned significantly during the pandemic lockdown without the presence of an internal audience, blood flowing through the entertainment industry‘s vessels through movie theaters.

That being said, there has been a lack of quality content over the years which has not made moviegoers thrive in theaters, and luckily that has improved slightly this year with the arrival of ‘a good number of quality films.

Without a doubt, this year’s pioneering film was the much talked about and acclaimed conquest film ‘Rehana Maryam Noor’. The talented filmmaker Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s second directorial venture had the glory of becoming the first Bangladeshi film to screen in the prestigious Un Certain Regard category at the 74th Cannes International Film Festival this year.

After being screened at the Sal Dubusi Theater in the Cane Pale Do festival building on July 7, the film finally hit silver screens across the country on November 12, and so far the starring film of Azmeri Haque Badhon excites local and international moviegoers and accolades around the world, namely the “Best Actress” award for Badhon at the 14th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) for her outstanding performance, while director Saad received the “Grand Prix du Jury”. The film also won the “New Talent Award” at the HongKong Asian Film Festival 2021, the “Best Actress” award for Badhon at the Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival 2021 and above, while also being nominated for the official Bangladesh nomination. for the Oscar 2022.

Young filmmaker Rezwan Shahriar Sumit’s debut film, “Nonajoler Kabbo” (Salt in Our Waters), released to moviegoers in Bangladesh on November 26, is another film that has also created a buzz around the world. activities, Sumit told UNB, “We successfully held 3 screening sessions on November 23-24, as part of our Coastal Screening in Patuakhali, honoring that the film is filmed about the life of our community. inshore fishermen – so they were the first to watch it in the country, in keeping with my commitment to the community. The area we used for the filming, a remote fishing community in Patuakhali, lost its existence due to erosion of the river. They were also touching to see the land and their life story unfold on the big screen, and it was also touching for me, also because of my 7 year long journey behind this dream project.

The film was presented and highly regarded at the 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP-26) on November 8, during the IMAX screening at the SEC Center in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. It has also won several national and international awards and scholarships, including the NETPAC Award (Best Asian Feature Film) at the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival in 2021, TFL Audience Design Fund 2020, Bangladesh’s National Film Grant in 2017, CNC Aide aux cinémas du monde 2018, and Spike Lee Writing Grant 2016, to name a few.

The year was also marked by the release with great fanfare of the highly anticipated multi-starrer crime action thriller “Mission Extreme” on December 3, and for the first time a Bangladeshi film was released on three continents (Europe, North America). North and Australia) on the day of its local release. The film is a two-part extravagant Bangladeshi police action thriller film series, co-directed by Faisal Ahmed and Sunny Sanwar, police superintendent of the Bangladesh Police Anti-Terrorism Unit, slated for release at the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

Arifin Shuvoo’s rigorous body transformation for her character in this film and Miss World Bangladesh 2018 debut Jannatul Ferdous Oishee as a Dhallywood actress, Taskeen Rahman’s stellar performance as the lead antagonist and a powerful ensemble including Misha Sawdagor, Iresh Zaker, Sadia Nabila, Sumit Sengupta, Raisul Islam Asad, Fazlur Rahman Babu, Syed Nazmus Sakib and others captivated the audience

Speaking of Dhallywood debutante Oishee, her other major film “Raat Jaga Phool” is also set to be released as the last Bangladeshi film of 2021. The film is being made with a government grant and is due out on December 31, hitting the big screen. directorial debut of actor Mir Sabbir.

The year was also marked by other major releases and a good number of these films are historical and periodicals including “Chandrabati Kotha”, “Sphulingo”, “Padmapuran”, “Lal Moroger Jhuti” and more, while films representing other genres such as the recent ‘Mridha Bonam Mridha’ release with Siam Ahmed and Tariq Anam Khan among others, are aimed at audiences who prefer to enjoy storytelling based on family relationships.

The year is also set to be marked as one of the most satisfying, engaging, busy and successful years for OTT platforms and their content, a significant portion of which was made up of single films. The OTT Chorki platform emerged this year with a handful of its original films, including Adnan Al Rajeev’s dark comedy “YouTumor”, young filmmaker Abrar Athar’s musical film “Adhkhana Bhalo Chele Adha Mostaan” based on and starring starring acclaimed singer-director Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, seasoned director Amitabh Reza Chowdhury directed the mysterious drama film “Munshigiri” starring Chanchal Chowdhury, acclaimed independent director Kamar Ahmed Simon “Neel Mukut” and more.

While many do not see the rapidly growing OTT platforms as the best solution to the current crisis in the film industry, many filmmakers have chosen the platform as the latest, and arguably the best, cost-effective alternative, out of the blue. traces of Bollywood and Hollywood. Audiences are also looking for comfort and mobility when it comes to enjoying the movies they want, which has made the situation even more difficult for the surviving movie theaters and multiplexes across the country.

“We planned to launch over 100 unique screens in our multiplexes, as part of our nationwide expansion master plan. Due to the ravages of the pandemic, we had to jeopardize this plan, now having only 14 screens in our four multiplexes (Bashundhara City in Panthapath, Shimanto Shambhar in Dhanmondi, Sony Square in Mirpur and SKS Tower, Mohakhali). We survive on bank loans, and although recent releases like “Rehana Maryam Noor”, “Mission Extreme”, “Nonajoler Kabbo” and some of the recent Hollywood blockbusters, including the James Bond film “No Time to Die” and the very recent ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ boosted our ticket sales, we need more quality content from our local filmmakers as well as government permission to show Bollywood and foreign films simultaneously ” STAR Cineplex president Mahboob Rahman Ruhel told UNB.

With a good number of films to come, namely “Shaan”, “Damal”, “Golui”, “Operation Sundarbans”, “Deen – the Day” by Ananta Jalil, “Noor”, “Mission Extreme part two”, “Dhaka 2040”, “Beauty Circus” and a handful of other films, including the highly anticipated biopic of the father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman titled “Bangabandhu” – the year 2022 has all the potential to be a game-changer for the film industry in Bangladesh.