Policies should support art, not hinder it
I can see there is a misconception that we are protesting against providing grants to the mainstream films. That is simply not true.
Our demand was very clear and concise -- we want full length documentaries to get more priority. The history of film began with documentaries, and fictions came later. In order to preserve film as a medium of art, we must produce more documentaries, and these films hardly get any patronisation, thus the government should extend their hands to save these works from the brink of extinction.
The grants are supposed to support those films that reflect more of our own culture, art, Liberation War, struggles, morality and achievements. It is extremely essential to document a generation exactly as they are, so that it can be
All kinds of films are needed for an industry to grow. I am not objecting for providing grants to commercial films. However, the policy does not include any such law where commercial films will be funded.
In 2010, we brought an amendment, where the state could claim funded films as an owner. Kamal Chowdhury and I were members of the committee, where we debated against this law. Our point was grants are sort of gifts, which they cannot ask to return. Also, a film is the director's brainchild, how can the state demand ownership of an intellectual property!
Fully commercial films should be provided with soft loans, with very low interest. Those who cannot earn revenues from films, yet these projects are tasteful should be prioritised.
I believe that the newly drafted policy will make thing easier than before. Policies should be made to support art, not to hinder them. With time, everything needs upgrade, and it is high time, that we upgrade our policies as well. We should address the frustrations of the newer generation.
I remember when Tokon Thakoor was arrested, we protested the act, because arresting someone can never be the solution. However, we should not misuse the facilities we get. Artistes should be the most responsible amongst all other citizens in the country.
When I directed "Guerilla", I received a grant of BDT 19 lakhs. However, the production took me BDT 4 crore and 17 lakhs. I had to repay the loan by selling my wife's (Shimul Yousuff's) flat.
The author is an Ekushey Padak and National Film Award winning director.
Narrated to Sharmin Joya