Prominent artistes and members of the entertainment industry expressed mixed reactions to the national budget announced recently.
Farooque, a celebrated actor and cultural personality, feels positive about the budget for films. “There is a significant increase in the budget for films,” he says. “Today, the government also provides grants for films. However, as an artiste, I feel that the amount allocated for radio and television should have been more.”
Megastar Ashraf Uddin Ahmed, better known by his stage name Ujjal, entered the world of cinema in 1970. He was a prominent face in the fields of television and theatre much before he came into films. “It is good to see that the government is emphasising on the development of education and technology, but having said that, our cultural and entertainment sectors should not be neglected,” says Ujjal. “As much as we appreciate our Prime Minister for her efforts to support artistes who need medical treatment, the government’s initiatives to develop the film industry have not been satisfactory.” Aruna Biswas, who started her journey in the showbiz world in 1986, has been a part of more than a 100 films and has also worked as a television director. “I appreciate the current government for supporting actors, but we need to ensure that the amount allocated to the arts, reach the right people and is put to proper use. If we do so, our industry will go a long way,” expresses Aruna. “There are many actors in our industry who work regularly, but some of us are not as fortunate.”
Iftekharuddin Naushad, the owner of Modhumita, one of the most prominent cinema theatres in Dhaka, hoped for easy loans from the government, but his expectations were not met. He feels that the number of cinema theatres in the country will continue to decline if things do not change. On the other hand, Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar, President, Bangladesh Film Directors’ Association, was disheartened to see that the government did not encourage building more multiplexes.