- Published on Monday, 24 July 2017 11:53
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called on the filmmakers to produce quality films by upholding the country's history, culture and tradition and assured that her government will do whatever is necessary for it.
"We want those who make movies in Bangladesh to produce films that would contain the country's history, culture and heritage and earn international accolades," she said while distributing the National Film Awards-2015.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is marching forward in every sector. "We don't want to lag behind in the field of film and I'm giving words that we would extend whatever cooperation is needed for the development of the film industry," she said.
The premier handed over the awards, the highest state recognition for contributions to the country's film industry, to 31 artistes and performers in 25 categories at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu presided over the function, while Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the ministry AKM Rahamatullah was present as the special guest.
Information Secretary Martuza Ahmed delivered the welcome address at the function attended by ministers, advisers, parliament members, high civil and military officials, media personalities and dignitaries.
On behalf of the award-recipients, renowned film actress Shabana spoke at the function expressing her feelings about receiving the award.
While giving assurances of allout support for development of the film industry, the prime minister said: "We've given over Tk 400,000 crore budget ... we're now self-reliant in every sector. We're a victorious nation as we earned independence through liberation war and we want to continue the trend of victory in every field, even in the film industry."
Sheikh Hasina expressed the hope that all concerned including filmmakers, producers, script-writers, actors and actresses and performers will play an important role in the development of the film industry through their talent, labour and creativity.
The premier extended her heartiest congratulations to the recipients of the National Film Awards-2015 and asked the authorities concerned to evaluate true artistes and performers while giving such awards.
"I hope that when such awards are given, nobody will try to influence anyone in this regard ... I want that the true artistes and performers are evaluated properly and authorities will give attention in such a way," she said.
"We may have power, but we want this not to be misused ... I would like to request everybody not to create pressure in this regard," she added.
Emphasizing the importance of skilled scriptwriters to make quality films, the prime minister said country lacks efficient scriptwriters. "Due to a good script, any film can touch the heart of the viewers and they could return home with the essence of the film," she said.
The prime minister called upon the litterateurs, artistes and others involved in film making to give attention to this matter.
Sheikh Hasina also urged the filmmakers to efficiently use new technologies to sustain in the competitive world.
Describing film as a strong medium, the prime minister said life struggle of the people and social picture are reflected in the films and it's possible to be very close to the common people through the creative art.
As a result, the common people get inspiration in doing creative works, upholding social values and patriotism, she said, adding that artistes, performers and filmmakers energise the mass people in building the country.
Recalling the contributions of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the development of the country's film industry, the prime minister said the activities of the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) started under his direct supervision.
But after the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975, she said, the voice of arts and culture of Bangalees was gagged and propaganda was carried out by distorting the history of independence.
The prime minister said the post-75 illegitimate governments made ill efforts to ruin the film industry and as a result the industry was on the verge of destruction.
Illustrating her government's steps for the development of film industry, Sheikh Hasina said her government after assuming office in 2009 implemented massive programmes for developing the industry.
"We reopened the cinemas that were closed down during the BNP rule and began transforming movie houses into digital halls by procuring digital equipment," she said.
She added: "We're modernizing the cinemas so that people came back to watch movies again ... our finance minister has given tax holiday while constructing cineplexes and if needed, we would provide financial assistance."
The prime minister said her government declared the film as an "industry" and increased grants for making healthy films.
"We started providing grants for short films and raised various facilities for film producers and distributors including tax rebate ... we're also regularly providing grants to insolvent film artistes and performers," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has framed the National Film Policy. "It's my firm belief that the persons related to film industry will benefit under this policy," she said.
The premier said undertaking a project for construction of the BFDC Complex by 2021 is now at the final stage. Besides, she said, the work on modernization and expansion of BFDC at an estimated cost of Tk 58.60 crore is nearing completion.
The prime minister said the first phase work on Bangabandhu Film City at Kabirpur in Savar at a cost of Tk 19.80 crore is underway. "A modern and world-standard Bangabandhu Film Archive is being built here," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has established the Film and Television Institute for creating talented and skilled workers in the film industry. A project for construction of modern information complexes having multipurpose movie houses in 64 districts and four upazilas has already been taken, she said.
The prime minister said the draft of Bangladesh Film Certification Law has been framed to introduce certificate system instead of censor system in the film.
She said the expectation of the film viewers and researchers will be fulfilled if releasing films online is introduced and asked the information ministry to complete the ongoing projects taken for the development of the film industry.
"We are elected for five years and after the time we have to go to the people. We return to power if the people give us vote, otherwise not ... so we want the projects that were taken by our government are completed in our tenure," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has been giving the National Film Awards every year. "This time awards are being given to 31 artistes and performers in 25 categories for their outstanding contributions to the film industry for the year 2015," she said.
"This is to recognize your good work and inspire you to move ahead," she said.
The prime minister said popular actress Shabana and glittering star of music arena Ferdousi Rahman were today honoured with lifetime achievement awards. "I congratulate them on their achievements," she said.
Sheikh Hasina also thanked actress Joya Ahsan for receiving the award from this function cancelling her visit to Kolkata where she was scheduled to take an award.
Photo: Saiful Islam Kallol