Bollywood film ban remains in Bangladesh

Marie Naudascher

Protests by actors and directors of the struggling Bangladeshi film industry led the country's government to abandon plans to lift a four-decade-old ban on Indian cinema. The government announced plans last week to allow films from India in an attempt to boost audiences at Bangladesh's struggling cinemas.


Their tune quickly changed when home-grown stars and studio heads expressed concerns that the big-budget Indian films would swamp the market.

Bollywood films have been forbidden in order to protect the national Bangladeshi film industry since 1972, a year after the country's independence from Pakistan.

The number of cimenas in Bangladesh has decreased from 1,600 to 600 over the past ten years, as local films have failed to attract viewers. There is also a large black market for pirated Bollywood DVDs.

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