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Film Industry of Bangladesh: A Business Contemplation

Though the study of Film as a discipline started around 1960s, the debate whether a movie is a piece of art or not began much earlier. A group of academicians favor the term “Film” over “Movie” and recognize it as a piece of Art. But a great number of practitioners and academicians regard it as a form of entertainment, pure and simple. Government may promote movies as a mass communication tool to communicate nationally important messages to its people. We will not take any extreme position to explain the phenomena of Film industry of Bangladesh. “Assumptions that fail to provide criteria for the analysis of messages, falling between the extremes of good and bad, beautiful and ugly and art and non-art must prove singularly unfit as basic assumptions for the analysis of films that so clearly fall between these extreme.” (Sol Worth 1971)


On the other hand, the inherent issues like demand uncertainty, risk involvement and big investment movie turns to be a business. . From the perspective of the phenomenal decline of Hollywood in the late 1960s and early 1970s Fadiman (1973) contends that “Movie making is business which is at the same time an art and an industry.” While producing a movie, producers and directors have clear idea on what factor will be dominating in that movie. Even without negating any of these factors and making a balance among the factors a director can make an outstanding movie.

After the War of Independence of Bangladesh in 1971, most of the time we have seen one man show in the film Industry. Sometimes it is Nayok Raz Razzak, Sometimes it is Dashing Hero Jashim, then Romantic Hero Salman Shah and Lastly Super Star Manna. After the sudden death of Manna in 2008, whole film industry was jolted down. Shakib Khan came to the limelight and whole industry was directed centering him. Situations worsened as there was lack of variation in stories, lack of innovation in other areas of movie making. People started to forget about going Cinema Hall to watch movies as the number of movie-goers was decreasing slowly after the death of Salman Shah. The Cinema Halls were shut down one after another. Atlast, despite the strong protest from directors-producers-actors, Bangladesh Cinema Hall Owners Association imported Indian Bangla movie to exhibit in their dormitory. But this initiative went in vain also.


With the emergence of some brilliant young directors especially Mostofa Sarwar Farooki  ( director) , M. A. Jalil Ananta (Producer-Actor), Giasuddin Selim (Monpura), Nasiruddin Yousuff (Guerrilla), Redoan Rony (Chorabali) the film industry get back its life. Bangla movie experiences some benchmarks with completely different, wonderful stories, unprecedented cinematography and the phenomenal improvement in every technical side of movie making. Now time comes to arm the life of the film industry with “continuous re-engineering . It is a business term what Japanese calls Kaizen. From the capitalistic view, without the motivation of profit continuous development or re-engineering of something is impossible.


 We all know that a good producer is a good investor; a good director is a good manager and obviously a good marketer also. You need proper planning, managing whole shooting unit, finishing all activities within a definite period of time and within definite amount of budget, developing a control system to be a successful director. You have to act like a total businessman.

Another thing to consider is that “popularity in the past has been has been found to be no guarantee of success in the future. There is no simple, consistent relationship between film themes, costs of productions and box office receipts.”(Edmunds and Strick 1977).It is strategically sound to recognize the truth of movie business more elaborately. “The measure of success in movie making is attendance either in terms of the number of admissions, the dollar value of the rental fees which exhibitors return to the distributors. But more practically it is not the number of admission, not box office hit; it is the rentals which the distributor receives that are used in calculating the actual profit or loss.”(Jowett, Linton 1980)


In the competitive market one must differentiate his/her movies in the market. But In which area you have to differentiate, in which area you have to compete is a matter of concern. “Each movie while produced is essentially a unique commodity. It needs high degree of product differentiation which results in promotional competition rather than admission price competition.” (Larmett et al, 1978).Product differentiation needs to be dealt with cultural sensitivity and the most important thing is to position in the audiences mind differently.

Understanding the phenomena of the film industry in a pragmatic way is significant to the people having stake in the industry. Contemplating the learning of modern management and implementing latest marketing strategies in producing movies can play an influential role to develop the film industry of Bangladesh.

Mr. Julfikar Islam is currently studying Marketing (4th year) at University of Dhaka. He is truly an organizational being. He has been working with a number of knowledge-based organizations for last 3 years within the University. His area of specialization is Supply Chain Management. He also has an effective knowledge about Branding, Current Market trends. He has been blogging for last 1 year about these issues in a number of national blog and community website.

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3 comments on “Film Industry of Bangladesh: A Business Contemplation”

  1. Bonjour,

    I would like to please you
    to tell me
    how much is the average
    cost of production
    of a film with actors
    and a cartoon film ?


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