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Dhaka film history/1947-1971

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After 1947, when Dhaka became a new centre of cultural activities and many persons and institutions tried to produce, and distribute films and setup studios. The government of Pakistan asked Nazir Ahmed, a radio personality, to produce a documentary film. Accordingly, He produced In Our Midst, the first documentary film made in East Pakistan, in collaboration with the experts of Calcutta.

1950s

The Language Movement and the killing of some activists by the government police in February 1952 made the Bengali people more conscious of their rights. Along with the political, economic and administrative extortions of the West Pakistanis, cultural extortion was also in practice. In about two years after the movement of 1952, Shahidul Alam, Abdul Jabbar Khan, Kazi Nuruzzaman and others established Iqbal Films. Dr. Abdus Salek, Dalil Ahmad, Azizul Huq, Dudu Mia, poet Jasimuddin, Kazi Khaleque, Sarwar Hossain and others established Co-operative Film Makers Limited for production of films.

The Film Unit

The government formed a Film Unit under the Public Relations Department for making publicity films. Efforts were initiated to set up a studio and a laboratory at Tejgaon in Dhaka. The documentary film Salamat was produced in the Film Unit under the directorship of Nazir Ahmad (1954). In 1955, work on Mukh O Mukhosh, the first feature film of Iqbal Films began under the directorship of Abdul Jabbar Khan. The film was released on 3 August 1956. The Co-operative Filmmakers produced a short film Appayan under the directorship of Sarwar Hossain. In June 1955, the government-owned film studio commenced operations at Tejgaon.

Film Development Corporation

On 3 April 1957, the East Pakistan Film Development Corporation (EPFDC) was set up with the passage of a bill in the East Pakistan Provincial Legislative Assembly. The establishment of FDC laid the foundation of the film industry in the province. After the facilities of FDC were set up, films have been released regularly every year since 1959. Before this date, cinema halls of the province used to show only films imported from India, West Pakistan, USA, United Kingdom, Russia, Italy and other countries. Following the establishment of the FDC, some more studios like, Popular Studio (Pagla), Bari Studio (Tejturi Bazar), and Bengal Studio (Tikatuli) were set up.

1960s

Different streams have been noticed in the history of films of Bangladesh. The films produced in the 1950s and early 1960s reflect a conception of a beautiful and pure life. Later, producers began to make films in Urdu or films based on folk tales for commercial reasons. Chanda, produced in Urdu by Ehtesham and Rupban based on folklore and produced by Salahuddin, represent those two distinct streams.

The history based Nawab Sirajuddowla (1967) of Khan Ataur Rahman and mass movement based Jiban Thekey Neya (1970) of Zahir Raihan were produced during a period when East Pakistan was in a politically volatile situation.

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