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West Bengal makes Bengali film screenings mandatory for all cinema halls

West Bengal government has made it mandatory for all cinema halls and multiplexes in the state to screen at least one Bengali movie, during prime time, for a minimum of 120 days a year.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2018 12:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
bengali film,west bengal,mamata banerjee
Eastern India Motion Pictures Association has expressed concern that the decision might pose financial difficulties for certain cinema hall owners, who have halls located in places with fewer audience for Bengali movies.(HT File Photo)

Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has made it mandatory for all cinema halls and multiplexes in the state to screen at least one Bengali movie, during prime time, for a minimum of 120 days a year. Prime time is scheduled between noon and 9 pm in cinema halls.

A notification signed by the principal secretary of the state information and cultural affairs department, Vivek Kumar, was issued in this regard on Saturday evening. “The governor is hereby pleased to issue the following directive to all licensees of the state, except the licensees of the GTA areas, with immediate effect,” the notification read.

Kumar said the initiative has been mooted to encourage the Bengali silver screen industry. According to him, the state government will bring amendments in the West Bengal Cinema (Regulation of Public Exhibitions) Rules, 1956 in due course.

Welcoming the decision, film director Aniket Chattopadhyay thanked Mamata Banerjee for the initiative. “It is great news. Many thanks to the chief minister,” Chattopadhyay said.

However, Eastern India Motion Pictures Association has expressed concern that the decision might pose financial difficulties for certain cinema hall owners, who have halls located in places with fewer audience for Bengali movies. “There are certain cinema halls in localities like Burrabazar, Sealdah, Mitabruz, Esplanade and Park Street. There are very few viewers of Bengali movies in these localities,” said the association chairman, Ratan Saha.

He also said that the same rule cannot be made applicable for multiplexes and single screen halls. “State government should have thought of such aspects before taking this decision,” Saha added.

However, veteran film director, Prosenjit Chatterjee supported the decision saying it would surely encourage in empowerment of the Bengali film industry.

First Published: Sep 16, 2018 12:20 IST