Siliguri (West Bengal), Feb.4 ANI | 2 years ago

Bangladeshi filmmakers are taking part in the 14th International film festival in Siliguri, West Bengal province, promoting cultural exchange and bolstering bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka.

The film festival kicked off on Monday, featuring films and documentaries of filmmakers across the globe aiming to treat the audience with all the shades of rainbow on the canvas.

A Bangladeshi filmmaker, Tanvir Mokammel, said: "As a filmmaker we do get invitation from lot of places. But when we get invitation from West Bengal, it gives us immense pleasure as we share the same culture. I am very happy to see that film festival is happening in Siliguri and this is the 14th film festival that they have organised. My film is being shown during the festival in the inauguration ceremony."

The ban on Indian films in Bangladesh was first introduced in 1972 in order to protect the local film industry.

Bangladesh became part of Pakistan at the end of British rule in 1947 but broke away in 1971 after a war between Bangladeshi nationalists, who were backed by India, and Pakistani forces that cost 3 million lives.

The secretary of the Siliguri Cine Society, Pradip Nag, said various film genres from Iran, Turkey, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Hungry, and Israel would be screened during the festival.

"Bangladesh film director, Tanvir Mokammel will inaugurate the festival and this festival will take place from February 01 to February 07 where films from seven countries including Iran, Turkey, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Hungry, Israel. There are two Bengali movies including one from Bangladesh," said Nag.

Bangladesh and India in January 2013 signed an extradition treaty and struck a deal to relax business visa restrictions between the neighbouring countries.

Recently, there was significant improvement in the trade relations between the two countries. In 2010-11, two-way trade crossed the USUSD 5 billion mark as a result of a significant increase in Bangladesh's exports to India (68 percent over the previous year) and India's exports to Bangladesh (43 percent over the previous year).

Currently Bangladesh imports more than USD four billion worth of products from India while India import less than USD one billion worth of products annually.

Furthermore, traditional economic and cultural links between India and Bangladesh have been greatly enhanced with Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina visiting India in January, 2010 followed by a return visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in September 2011.

Given the geographical proximity, warm and friendly ties, availability of workforce and investment-supportive atmosphere, the quantum of Indian investment and trade with Bangladesh is further expected to improve for mutual benefit.

(Posted on 04-02-2014)

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