'More Indo-Bangla cooperation needed in cinema'
Describing cinema as an important tool for establishing regional peace and harmony, Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu Friday called for expanding Indo-Bangla cooperation in films.
"We celebrate so many festivals together. We need to expand it to other areas. Cinema is an important tool for establishing regional cooperation and harmony," Inu said at the inaugural session of the second chapter of the FICCI Media and Entertainment Business Conclave - East (MBEC-East) here.
Saluting Indian cinema, he said it has had a profound effect on Asian countries and Russia.
"Bengali cinema has a global market now. The two countries celebrated Rabindranath Tagore's 150th anniversary celebrations together. So why shouldn't we extend the cooperation to the silver screen?" he said.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said it was time to break the barriers of geography to exploit the opportunities in culture.
"The time is here for us to dissolve the barriers we are facing. SAARC nations should be a lesson for us. We should do it unitedly or not at all. Every region should exploit its indigenous culture and climate," said Bhatt.
Organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the MBEC conclave was aimed at providing a forum for the government to receive authentic information on the state of the region's entertainment industry, its problems and prospects.
It also sought to give a boost to the idea of opening up doors to the Bangladeshi entertainment market.
Referring to the Bengali film industry, MEBC chairperson Gautam Ghosh said: "We have to learn from Bollywood and the Tamil film industry on how to market films. We need to look at one market despite political barriers."
Later, addressing the media, MEBC convenor and actor Prasenjit Chatterjee said the Bengali film personalities would make a presentation to the West Bengal government on the steps needed to expand and strengthen the local film industry.
"At the same time, they are looking at Bangladesh to make a one language, one land concept. Tamil and Hindi films have the advantage of 3,000 film auditoria and multi-plexes where productions can be screened. In contrast, in Bengal we have only 400 auditoria. As soon as our gates increase our boundaries will also expand," Chatterjee said.