Cinema hall owners threaten strike to protest strict import policy

  • Glitz Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-03-14 00:07:23 BdST


Cinema hall owners have threatened to go for an indefinite strike from Apr 12 to demand a relaxed movie import policy and more initiative to make local movies.

"There are not enough movies made in the country to run the theatres. The audience is not watching the movies. The hall owners are counting losses. This can't go on," Bangladesh Motion Pictures Exhibitors Association President Iftekhar Uddin Naushad told a news conference on Wednesday.

Sudipta Kumar Das, adviser to the exhibitors association, read out a statement on behalf of the organisation's president.

“We were promised better directors who will change the course of the film industry in the country ever since we demanded to import movies from the subcontinent,” said Sudipta.

“The number of movie theatres has dropped to 174 and only 35 local movies were made last year - does it substantiate the claim?”

“The expenses are escalating every day which include higher electricity bill, salary for the workers, forcing increasing losses on the cinema hall owners,” the adviser said.

The journalists asked Iftekhar about the environment in cinema halls.

“It’s true that the environment in local cinema halls is not good. But the owners will develop the movie theatres once their businesses improve.

"It’s not that the viewers will come to watch the movies only if the movie halls get better but they need better movies to watch. They will sit on the floor to watch if the film is good,” he said, citing the examples of movies like ‘Beder Meye Josna’ and ‘Manpura.’

“People sat on the floor to watch those movies; they will come to the hall if the content is good.”

Naushad demanded that the government relax the import policy of Indian cinema to enable the local film industry to survive.

“The exhibitors association has been patient long enough but opted for the indefinite closure of the cinema halls to get over the situation. We’ll stick to this decision until the government settles the issue.”