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Cinema of Bengal

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Cinema of Bengal

For specific Bengali-language film industries, see Cinema of Bangladesh and Cinema of West Bengal.

Template:Culture of Bengal

Bengali cinema (Bengali: বাংলা চলচ্চিত্র) refers to the filmmaking industries in the Bengal region of South Asia. There are two major film-making hubs in the region: one in Kolkata, West Bengal, India (cinema of West Bengal) and the other in Dhaka, Bangladesh (cinema of Bangladesh).

Two film industries

There are two Bengali-language film industries. The one in Kolkata, India is sometimes called Tollywood, which is a portmanteau of the words Tollygunge and Hollywood.[1][2] It is one of many centres for Indian regional filmmaking. The other is in Dhaka, Bangladesh and is sometimes called Dhallywood, a portmanteau of the words Dhaka and Hollywood. The mainstream national film industry of Bangladesh is located there.

Early history

The history of cinema in Bengal dates back to 1890, when the first bioscopes were shown in theatres in Kolkata.

Within a decade, the first seeds of the industry were sown by Hiralal Sen, considered a stalwart of Victorian era cinema[3] when he set up the Royal Bioscope Company. He produced scenes from the stage productions of a number of popular shows[3] at the Star Theatre, the Minerva Theatre, and the Classic Theatre in Kolkata and advertisement films in India.

Following a long gap after Sen's works,[4] Dhirendra Nath Ganguly in 1918 established the Indo British Film Co (IBFC), the first Bengali-owned production company. Bilat Ferat was the IBFC's first production in 1921.

The first Bengali-language feature film, Billwamangal, was produced by the Madan Theatre Company (MTC) and released on 8 November 1919.[5] MTC's production of Jamai Shashthi in 1931, under Amar Chauduri's direction, was the first Bengali talkie.[6][7]

West Bengal film industry

Main article: Cinema of West Bengal

The West Bengal film industry is based in Tollygunge, an area of south Kolkata. In the past, this industry enjoyed a large representation in Indian cinema and produced film directors like Satyajit Ray, who was an Academy Honorary Award winner, and Mrinal Sen. The nickname for the Tollygunge film industry, "Tollywood", was also the first Hollywood-inspired name, dating back to a 1932 article in the American Cinematographer by Wilford E. Deming (due to Tollygunge rhyming with Hollywood) and went on to inspire the name "Bollywood" and other similar names.[8]

Other prominent film makers in the Bengali film industry are Bimal Roy, Ritwik Ghatak, and Aparna Sen. The Bengali film industry has produced films such as Nagarik (1952), The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959), Jalsaghar (1958), Ajantrik (1958), Neel Akasher Neechey (1959), Devdas, Devi (1960), Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960), and the Calcutta trilogies (1971–1976). The Apu Trilogy is listed among the greatest films of all time.[9][10][11][12]

The pioneers in Bengali film music include Raichand Boral, Pankaj Mullick, and K. C. Dey, all associated with New Theatres Calcutta.[13]

In the 1980s, however, the West Bengal film industry experienced turmoil. It shifted from its traditional artistic and emotional inclinations to immitating the increasingly popular Hindi films. The industry also experienced a decline in its audience and critical appreciation, with the exception of works from directors like Gautam Ghose.

Eminent sound engineers like Anup Mukherjee, Dipankar Jojo Chaki, and Bishwadeep Chatterjee have brought a completely different approach to sound design of West Bengali films.

The market for West Bengali films has expanded to a 340-million-strong Bengali audience in Bangladesh, West Bengal, Tripura, and Assam. While around 50 films are produced in West Bengal every year, only 30 make it to the theatres.[14]

Bangladeshi film industry

Main article: Cinema of Bangladesh


The Bangladeshi film industry is based in Dhaka. In 2009, Bangladesh produced 64 films, which was the 19th most in the world.[15] According to a 2004 news report, the average movie budget was about 6.5 million Bangladeshi taka.[16]

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 3 August 1956. During the late 1960s, between 20 and 35 films were produced each year. Production quantity continued to increase after Bangladesh gained its independence on 16 December 1971; in 1979, for example, 51 films were released, and in the 1990s over 90 films per year were released.

Bangladesh has been officially submitting nominations for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 2003. Masud's Matir Moina (The Clay Bird) was the first film to be submitted and won a number of international awards from the Cannes,[17] Edinburgh, Palm Springs, Montreal, Marrakech, and Cairo film festivals. Another internationally acclaimed filmmaker from Bangladesh is Morshedul Islam, who won major awards at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg and other international film festivals.

The market for Bengali films has a 350-million-strong Bengali audience in Bangladesh, West Bengal, Tripura, and Assam. In 2012, big budget films like Most Welcome and Lal Tip: The Red Point were released. Many big budget films are being released in 2013. The first Bengali science fiction film Porobashinee is in production and slated to be release in 2014. Also, the most expensive Bangladeshi film Most Welcome 2 with budget of ৳25 Crore will be release in 2014.[18]

See also

Bengal portal

References

External links

  • Dallywood site

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