OP-ED: No country for Bangladeshi films


What is preventing the Bangladesh film industry from succeeding?

In Bangladesh, directors and artists believe that government policies and public sensitivity hamper the production of films based on true stories.

When Bangladesh’s OTT platforms first appeared, directors faced a host of challenges.

Anonno Mamun, a well-known director, has been jailed for portraying the police harshly while questioning a rape victim. As a result, making a good movie is difficult; however, few directors have gone beyond the constraints of government policies and audience sensitivity.

When movies like Oggatonama and Komola Rocket were released in theaters, they failed to captivate audiences. However, once made available on YouTube, it was widely acclaimed.

Amid the challenges, why don’t good films get the answers audiences want? Because directors don’t use the right promotional tools to promote their films.

Let’s talk about one of the blockbuster movies recently, Debi (a film based on the novel by Humayun Ahmed). Jaya Ahsan and Chanchal Chowdhury appeared as news anchors on a top TV channel, and the news went viral on social media timelines, and it has since become big news on all news media. , including online information portals in Bangladesh.

By this particular strategy, we can easily understand the impact of public relations (PR) strategies that attract large numbers of people to theaters. We understand how the Indian film industry and celebrities use PR to promote their films. Compared to India, film producers in Bangladesh do not use PR strategies to stay on top of the news.

When producing or directing a film, producers or directors do not allocate a budget for promotion; if they do, they invest in marketing strategies, and public relations remains a less important tool for promoting cinema in Bangladesh. However, in recent years, few directors have taken advantage of public relations opportunities to promote their films.

As we have seen, a few films received a lot of attention before their release, like Aynabaji, Debi and Gondi. Public relations and marketing are doing their jobs simultaneously; When an event is organized, public relations strategies aim to maximize reach and coverage using various platforms.

Beyond marketing, the communication of a film begins when it is unveiled. Suppose a movie has been announced and is about to go into production. In this case, the responsibility of a PR company is to get exclusive information from the set and to stay current until the films are released and sometimes even after the film has been released. As a result, public relations work is much longer and more complicated than marketing work.

As a director, you have completed your film. How do you get people to see your film? And how do you get the attention of your distributors? PR will give you the answer. They contribute to the build-up of anticipation and excitement that drives audiences to nearby theaters. Even the best award-winning actors and directors can’t always engage audiences. You will need a strategy to develop an interest in your film and use the appropriate medium that PR can help you with.

The most important advantage of public relations is its relations with the media. They know how to take elements of the film and turn them into material that is newsworthy or, in today’s lingo, trendy. They ensure that the film receives maximum media exposure, which leads to increased attendance at theaters.

In addition, other advantages of public relations, such as profitability, image building capabilities and crisis management skills, play an important role in the film industry. With the high cost of advertising and marketing initiatives, more and more filmmakers are including public relations campaigns in their promotional strategy.

Rich content is the most effective strategy for engaging with your audience. To generate interest, the PR agency uses various platforms to spread the film’s core message. From setting up a press conference to introduce the new actors to posting a teaser or trailer and setting up a photoshoot, the more you talk about your movie, the more people are. interested in seeing it.

Publicists also use a variety of mediums to promote films, including appearances on TV shows and social events. Social media has always played a vital role in spreading a message through its viral effect and word of mouth referrals. Producers choose to share compelling footage on social media, where the message can reach a wider audience faster.

With the rapid expansion of the industry, filmmakers should recognize the importance of public relations and develop unique public relations strategies to increase their income. Following the pandemic, it is now absolutely essential that directors and producers focus on how public relations strategies can enable them to achieve their goals.

This is not only beneficial, but also for the interests of the entire entertainment industry, especially those whose livelihoods depend entirely on the income generated when films are produced and scheduled to be shown. If this industry continues to decline, we will lose our cultural significance in the early days of the global arena.

Yemad Fayed Ahmed is a public relations professional


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