- Many directors have already stopped their works on several films despite industry leaders' permission to continue shooting
- People concerned said that the television drama sector is also going to face a new crisis due to the new lockdown
- The major festivals of Pahela Baishakh and Eid are ahead but this year, there will also be a lack of new productions like 2020
Another shutdown imposed by the government to curb the surge of Covid-19 has thrown the country's already-in-disarray entertainment industry in a crisis again.
The decision of the new restrictions comes as the industry has been trying to recover from the shock of the pandemic that derailed the country's economy last year.
Many directors have already stopped their works on several films despite industry leaders' permission to continue shooting as there is no specific instruction about this sector from the authorities.
So far, the shooting of Iftekhar Shuvo's 'Mukhosh', Ananya Mamun's 'Amanush', Montazur Rahman Akbar's 'Jemon Jamai Temon Bou', Shamim Ahmed Rony's 'Bubujan', Sakhawat Manik's 'Himur Bosonto' and several other films produced by Shapla Media have been halted.
However, the shooting of Wazed Ali Sumon's 'Antaratma' has been completed at the last moment. The film was being shot at a resort in Pabna for about a month. Darshana Banik from Kolkata has starred in this film with Shakib Khan. The film is about to be released on the coming Eid.
"If I could shoot one more week, the work would have been completed. But it was not possible amid the lockdown. Preparations were made for the shooting in Tangail," said Iferkhar Shuvo, director of Mukhosh.
He said, "The budget of this government-funded movie is rising. Initially, there was a budget of Tk80 lakh. I got Tk50 lakh from the government. I thought of investing the remaining Tk30 lakh. But now it seems that it will exceed one crore."
The same situation is with director Ananya Mamun. He made a shooting set in Bandarban for his film 'Amanush'. But now, he has got stuck in the lockdown. "I have stopped shooting to ensure the safety of everyone, even though I am facing losses for the time being," he said.
However, no official ban on shooting has been imposed. Even there are no instructions on whether or not to keep the cinemas open.
Mia Alauddin, senior vice-president of the Bangladesh Film Exhibitors Association, said, "We would still face loss even if the cinemas are kept open. However, there are no instructions in this regard. The owners of the halls in different parts of the country have asked me to keep them open. I told them to talk to the DC of the concerned district to make a decision."
"We opened cinemas in October last year after the closure due to the pandemic. But to maintain the health guidelines, the authorities asked us to keep 50 percent of the seats empty. But the fact is there have not been enough people in the halls since then. Even 10 percent of the seats have not been filled. Many halls do not even earn enough to pay the electricity bills."
However, he thinks that Indian films may turn the tide of the country's cinema again.
Meanwhile, several floors of the FDC have been rented out in lockdown.
Himadri Barua, public relations officer of the organisation, said, "Film is an industry and we have not cancelled the booking because all industries have been directed to keep open. We also have no instructions to stop shooting."
Meanwhile, many leaders associated with the organisations of television drama said that the country's television sector will be affected again due to the lockdown.
Salauddin Lavlu, president of the Directors Guild, said, "The sector was slowly recovering after the last year's crisis. The new wave of Covid-19 and lockdown will result in losses again. I think the amounts of losses will double this time"
"There were various organisations that helped many directors and artists last year. But this year there is no such opportunity because the capacity of the organisations has decreased," he added.
Lavlu said, "The shooting was allowed from 7 am to 6 pm to minimise the damage. However, many producers and actors are not in favour of shooting. We are also discouraging shooting."
People concerned said that the television drama sector is going to face a new crisis due to the new lockdown. The major festivals of Pahela Baishakh and Eid are ahead. Many big-budget productions are made targeting these festivals.
But this year, there will also be a lack of new productions like 2020. As a result, the sector will have to face a loss of hundreds of crores of taka, they said.