Panaji, Nov 29 (IANS) It may seem overpopulated, poor and conflict ridden to some, but Bangladesh is a new beacon of light for Bengali filmmakers from India seeking to expand their market.
Noted Bengali filmmaker Gautam Ghose, whose films like 'Paar' and 'Yatra' have been critically hailed, says his team has managed to crack the Bangladesh distribution market barrier for the first time since 1952, with his film 'Moner Manush', an India-Bangladesh production.
'We are glad to have broken the barrier. Earlier, both the Kolkata film industry and the Bangladesh (film) industry were frogs in their wells. A strange communal feeling works here,' Ghose told reporters in Panaji on the sidelines of the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
'In the past, the industry could not generate a market. Young distributors, however, are now looking beyond the borders in places like Bangladesh and other parts of the world,' Ghose said, adding the Bengali-speaking Bangladeshis were scattered in large numbers across the world.
'Nearly 110 prints of 'Moner Manush' have been released worldwide. It will have a big release even in Bangladesh,' Ghose said, adding that being an Indo-Bangladesh co-production helped a big deal to distribute and market the film in the other country.
'The partition was a great tragedy and a terrible part of history for both countries. But the younger generations do not have a sense of partition...We must use films and the arts to bridge the gap (between the people of the two nations),' Ghose said.
Bangladesh, which became East Pakistan at the time of India's partition and then became an independent nation in 1971, could be an automatic market extension for India's Bengali film industry, thanks to its Bengali speaking population and a strong cultural connect, say the filmmakers.
If Ghose already made inroads into the Bangladeshi film market, other filmmakers and production houses have already picked up cue, and are looking at ways to breach the Bangladesh barrier.
Somnath Gupta, whose film 'Ami Aadu' was also screened at IFFI, said the Bangladesh film market was in his sight.
'That is the way forward. It is such obvious Bengali speaking market. We are making efforts to release the film simultaneously there,' said Gupta.