Cinema of Bangladesh

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This article is about Bengali cinema in Bangladesh. For Bengali cinema in India, see Cinema of West Bengal.
Cinema of Bangladesh
Number of screens 425 (2014)[1]
 • Per capita 1.5 per 100,000 (2012)[2]
Main distributors Impress Telefilms 18.9%
Jaaz Multimedia 18.7%
Tiger Media 8.4%
Produced feature films (2014)
Total 78
Number of admissions (2014)
Total 43,750,00
Gross Box Office (2014)[3]
Total $6 million

The cinema of Bangladesh, often generally referred to as Dhallywood, has had a significant effect on Asia.[4] Bangladesh has had a significant film industry since the 80's.[5] Film production reached an all-time high in 1990, a period referred to as the golden age of Bangladeshi cinema.[6] During the 90's, the Bangladeshi film industry produced some of the biggest films in the history of Bangladeshi Cinema. As of 2013, the Bangladeshi film industry grossed around $62mn in the domestic market from 120 releases, making Bangladesh the 10th largest film producing country in the world.[7] According to film pundits, the Bangladeshi film industry is growing at a very fast pace in recent years. 2014 has proved to be an excellent year for the film industry, with Agnee (Fire) and Hero: The Superstar both being the highest grossing Bangladeshi films of all time. The annual Meril Prothom Alo Awards, the largest awards ceremony in Bangladesh, are hosted every year. The Bangladeshi film industry has its beginnings with the 1931 production of Last Kiss; the earliest feature film ever made in what would become Bangladesh. However, the first ever screening of films in Bangladesh started on April 24, 1898 by Bradford Bioscope Company at the Crown theater near Dhaka harbour.[8] Commercially successful Bangladeshi films have included Tojammel Haq's The Gypsy Daughter, AJ Khan's The face and the mask, Giashuddin Selim's Monpura, Ashiqur Rahman's Kistimaat and Iftakar Chowdhury's Agnee.[9] Bangladeshi Film Industry is the second largest film industry in South Asia after Bollywood and as of 2014, it is the ninth largest in Asia terms of revenue.



The history of the cinema of Bangladesh dates back to 1898, when the Bradford Bioscope Company arranged the screening of a film at the Crown Theater near Dhaka Harbour, which became the first film ever to be released in Bangladesh. Bangladesh started the journey of its own production in 1913, with "New Picture House" becoming the first theater to be built in present day Bangladesh.[10]

On 28 December 1895 in Paris De Café, the Lumiere brothers started the first commercial bioscope show. After 6 months, the Lumiere Brothers started the screening of their films in Dhaka, becoming the first established bioscope of the subcontinent. The first ever films to be released in Bangladesh were The Jubli Michil, Greek-Turkey Battle, The Jump of Princess Diana, The Game of Snow and The French Underground Railway.[10]

Silent Era[edit]

The first Bengali silent film, “Bless the World” was released on 8 November in 1919 under the direction of Jotish Banerjee from the French Madden Company. There were eighty theaters in Bangladesh during that time. In 1927-28, the Dhaka Royal family stepped forward and produced a short film named The Good Girl.[11] After the success of The Good Girl, the Royal family went for a bigger venture.[12] They set up the Dhaka East Bengal Cinematograph Society and produced a full-length silent movie titled The Last Kiss, the first Bangladeshi full-length silent film.[13][14]

Early development[edit]

By 1947, there were around 80 cinemas in what is now Bangladesh.[15]:pages 1, 3

The first Bengali organization for producing and exhibiting films was the Royal Bioscope Company, established in the 1890s in Calcutta by Hiralal Sen. Although feature films were made in Bengali as early as 1919 (Bilwa Mangal), most production was done in Calcutta. The Nawab family of Dhaka produced Sukumari (1928–1929) and The Last Kiss (1931).[15]:pages 2–5

Pakistan Era[edit]

Mukh O Mukhosh screenshot

After the partition of India in 1947, the first film made in East Pakistan was a newsreel about the visit of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, produced in 1948 by the radio broadcaster Nazir Ahmed.

The first full-length feature film with sound made in East Pakistan was Mukh O Mukhosh, which was produced by Abdul Jabbar Khan and released on August 3, 1956. Editing, printing and all other film processing for this movie was done in Lahore, Pakistan.[15]:pages 7, 9[16]

The East Bengal Provincial Assembly established the East Pakistan Film Development Corporation (EPFDC) on April 3, 1957. The first film produced by this organization was Asiya (The Life of a Village Girl, 1960), directed by Fateh Lohani. During the late 1960s, between 20 and 35 films were produced each year.

In the 1960s one of the prominent directors of East Bengal was Zahir Raihan. Some of his work was Kokhono Asheni, Kancher Deyal, Dui Bhai, Shangam, Let their be light, Jibon Theke Neya. In 1971 he made a documentary on the "Liberation War of Bangladesh," Stop Genocide, which was one of the first internationally acclaimed film in Bangladesh.


Star Cineplex is the largest theater chain in Bangladesh with 11 new multiplexes under construction

After declining during most of the 2000's, the Bangladeshi film industry bounced back after 2009. With the help of the Bangladeshi Government and the emergence of giant production companies, the Bangladeshi film industry is growing at a fast pace. Since 2010, Bangladesh has developed several large production and distribution companies, such as Jaaz Multimedia and Tiger Media Limited. The year 2014 proved to be the most profitable year, while 2015 is already the biggest, with some of Dhallywood's biggest films lined up for release. Bollywood's Reliance Entertainment Limited has expressed their interest in producing Bangladeshi films. However, the Bangladesh Film Corporation didn't respond due to the ban on Indian films in Bangladesh.

Government Support[edit]

Bangladesh Government played a huge role behind the re-emergence of Bangladesh films. With help of Bangladesh Government, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Bangladesh successfully eliminated piracy, illegal screenings and other illegal factors that affected the industry in the past. Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) was established as an assistance hub for Bangladesh Cinema. Bangladesh Government also spends about $6.0 million annually towards the development of Bangladeshi Cinema.

Important Figures[edit]




Notable films[edit]


Modern era films[edit]

Cult films[edit]

Commercial successes[edit]

Highest Grossing Bangladeshi Films[edit]

Rank Title Year of release Budget (BDT) Gross (BDT) Ref
1 The Gypsy Girl 1989 2,00,00,000 (with Inflation) 15,00,00,000 (with inflation) [23]
2 Hero: The Superstar 2014 3,00,00,000 3,50,00,000 [23]
3 Agnee 2014 2,00,00,000 3,25,00,000 [23]
4 Most Welcome 2012 6,50,00,000 2,48,50,000 [23]
5 NO1SK 2010 95,00,000 1,70,00,000 [23]
6 Full Length Love Story 2013 1,35,00,000 2,00,00,000 [23]
7 My Name Is Khan 2013 1,35,00,000 2,20,00,000 [23]
8 Checkmate (Kistimaat) 2014 2,00,00,000 2,32,00,000 [23]
9 Most Welcome 2 2014 ৳8,00,00,000 1,85,00,000 [23]
10 Ami Shudhu Cheyechi Tomay 2014 4,75,00,000 1,67,00,000 (Domestic Only) [23]
11 Nishwartha Bhalobasa 2013 8,00,00,000 2,52,00,000 [23]

Major Events[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bangladesh: Movie Theaters Are Dying". Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "After 40 years, Bangladesh lifts ban on Bollywood films". Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Table 11: Exhibition - Admissions & Gross Box Office (GBO)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Bollywood and Dhallywood:". The Daily Star. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Bangladesh's 'Dhallywood' Film Industry Soars In Popularity". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Bangladesh's 'Dhallywood' Film Industry Soars In Popularity". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Number of Films Produced by Countries". Nation Master. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Finding Simple Methods In bengali entertainment". Skillshare. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mukh O Mukhosh". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "History of Bangladeshi Film". Cholochitro. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "THE LIBERATION STRUGGLES OFA COUNTRY AND A FESTIVAL". Dhaka Film Festival. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Bangladesh's films and Zahir Raihan". dailysun. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Dhaka Nawab Family and Film". Nawab Bari. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Did you know? First Pakistani silent movie makes it to international film fests". Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c A Brief History of Bangladesh Cinema, accessed 27-July-2006
  16. ^ Celebrating 50 years of our cinema, Karim Waheed, The Daily Star (web edition), vol. 5, num. 431, accessed 27-July-2006
  17. ^
  18. ^ বিনোদন প্রতিবেদক. "আবার মৌসুমী". Retrieved 2013-11-14. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "চলচ্চিত্রে আলোচিত ৫ নায়িকার দৌড় চলছে এখন!". 
  21. ^ "Tisha-Farooki wedding photo album". Prothom-Alo. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  22. ^ "ছবি বানাতে টাকার চেয়ে বেশি দরকার মেধা : মোস্তফা সরয়ার ফারুকী". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "All Time Highest Grossing Bangladeshi Film". 

External links[edit]