Since the seventies, the Indian film industry is growing at a rapid speed. Movies like DDLJ, which US President Donald Trump mentioned in his last visit to India during the Namaste Trump concert in Gujarat, is one of those many movies which are appreciated and enjoyed worldwide. Many of the Bollywood actors are appreciated in Hollywood movies too.
The regional movie industries in India are also growing as they showcased their talent at the national level. Bhojpuri film industry, Punjab film industry, South-Indian film industries, and the Bangla film industry are the leaders among viewers within India.
Punjab music industry is appreciated all across India. Film industry people from other nations too find themselves inclined towards the film culture in India. Mr. Golam Sohrab Dodul is one of those who consider India a paradise for film and movie industry.
Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa, editor in chief of The Eastern Herald spoke with Bangla film director from Bangladesh, Mr. Golam Sohrab Dodul. During this conversation, he uncovered some facts about the film and movie industry in Bangladesh.
TEH: We have witnessed a couple of your directions, Shapludu movie, and Neel Dorja Bengali series which is ready to be premiered soon. We congratulate your success on these two.
Sohrab: Thank you so much for your appreciation.
TEH: What do you think about the current situation of the Bangla film industry?
Sohrab: I assume, there is still a wast scope in this. The scope has shifted from the mainstream film sector to online streaming services like Netflix and other online streaming platforms. We must acknowledge and think about working on online streaming movie projects now. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is doing very significant upgrades in the economic structure of Bangladesh and we Bangladeshis are very proud of it. But, right now the focus of our government is mainly on the upliftment of our population economically. I’m sure that our visionary leader, Sheikh Hasina will make a huge impact in the Asian region.
TEH: We heard that you lived in India for a long time, how was your experience?
Sohrab: For 2 years I lived in Kolkata. This was my golden time. I enjoyed the time I spent there. What I’ve learned and experienced in Kolkata, I think, I couldn’t get this experience anywhere in the world, I’m sure. It was that time when my interest in movies is strengthened. Whatever I’m today is due to what I’ve done in Kolkata.
TEH: You, as a director, have ever given a thought to work with the Indian film industry?
Sohrab: I watch Indian movies more often, especially Bollywood and South Indian movies. I love listening to Indian Punjabi songs too. It will be a great opportunity for me if I were given a chance by Indian people. I’m waiting for the right time.
TEH: It is perceived that the Bangladesh entertainment industry is experiencing a very difficult time now. Lots of producers have already left the industry. At this adverse situation, a Bangladeshi production company and content provider named Crown Entertainment has entered with the substantial fund and technical capabilities. Do you think, at this timing Crown’s initiative is wrong?
Sohrab: Its nothing like this here in Bangladesh. What you heard is right but it’s not about any specific sector. Due to the Corona pandemic, many businesses and even huge industries are in loss. Once the Corona is gone, I can assure you, people will again be at their places. The film industry in Bangladesh is growing rapidly and we have a huge potential here. And companies Crown Entertainment are working very optimistically. I don’t think they are doing anything wrong. What they are doing is far better than many other companies. We should appreciate their efforts and I hope one day they will emerge as a big name in Bangladesh.
TEH: The size of the Bangla speaking population in Bangladesh and India stands at over 260 million. Such a huge size of the population should have been considered as a hugely lucrative one to the international video streaming platforms. But, until now, there isn’t any visible interest from those platforms. Why?
Sohrab: First, it is very tough to connect each Bangla speaking person. This population is not centered only on one platform like Netflix or Amazon Prime but many regional streaming channels too. Like Zee5 has entered Bangladesh now, so, all the population is not on one platform. Second, the intellectual Bangla population is more inclined towards international content. The young generation is moving towards Hollywood rather than Bangla movies and Bangla series.
TEH: You said earlier that you like Indian Punjabi songs. Have you ever visited Punjab?
Sohrab: Oh yes. I visited a long time ago and it was a great experience. I visited Amritsar, Ludhiana, and Chandigarh. I like Punjabi culture and Punjabi cuisine too. I still miss that Paratha which I tasted in Amritsar, I miss that taste. And I would love to go to Punjab again. Let us hope for a good time.