History of Bangladeshi Film
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 05 October 2007

 At present in Bangladesh 70 to 75 films get released; millions of money is invested in this art. Billions of audience watch film in thousands of cinema halls of the country. A number of directors, actors and workers are related with this occupation. Our films are getting foreign admiration; government has formed national film awards and donation fund; FDC, DFP, Film archive has been founded. Condition has been raised for including film in the syllabus of universities.

The geographical area that is now owned by Bangladesh was under the rule of another country since 1946. In foreign rule for years kept this country lack behind financially and educationally. Fertile land of this zone and its inhabitant’s mostly Muslim farmers was supposed to be the supplier of the luxury of the lords of Calcutta. For this Dhaka capitalized breaking of Bangla was stopped. In this situation when Calcutta centered film industry passed about fifty years then in 1957 a studio was founded at Dhaka. Beside of it family education and tradition was also important. Sattyajit Roy the director of “Pother Pachali” had his own education, sense, and merit; had tradition of culture and photography of his father Sukumar Roy and grandfather Upendro Kishor Roy. But in compare with it our Abdul Jabber Khan had no such education or culture. However Abdul Jabber Khan made the first full-length bangla film of Bangladesh named “Mukh O Mukhos”.


In 1895 on 28th December in French capital Paris De Café lumier brothers started bioscope show commercially. After 6 months of this lumier brothers showed the first bioscope of the subcontinent on 7th July in 1896. In this year bioscope was shown in the capital of united Bangla Calcutta. One of the arrangers to show the bioscope was the English Stephenson. We found that Stephenson came to Dhaka with a drama team and showed bioscope in around 1896 to 1897. But there is no prove about that. The weekly “Dhaka Prokash” proved the bioscope show of Dhaka. According to 17th April of 1898 first bioscope was shown in Dhaka on 3rd Boishakh in 1305 in Potuakhali Sodor Theater (now lost) at Sodorghat. Redford Bioscope Company of Calcutta arranged the show. The films that was shown there were very little of two, three, four or five minutes. The films were:

The jubli michil great lady Victoria, Greek-Turkey battle, the jump of princes Diana from 300 feet up, the introduction of Russian prince jeer, the work of a mad haircutter, the game of lion and manik, the game of snow, the French underground railway etc. The price rate of ticket was eight anas to three taka. At that time the price of 40-kilogram rice was two taka four anas. After that bioscope was shown in SDO’s bangla of Bhola, Bogjuri of Manikgonj, Joydebpur, Rajbari, and Palong of Foridpur.

When bioscope was first shown in Dhaka, Hiralal Sen of Bogjuri of Manikgong started showing films by forming a company named The Royal Bioscope Company. Later he brought camera and started making films from selected scenes of Calcutta stage drama. Thus Hiralal Sen developed filmmaking in the then famous town Calcutta in 1901. Hiralal Sen also made shooting in his country land Bogjuri. That was the first shooting of present Bangladesh. After Hiralal Sen French Madden Company started making films in Calcutta in 1916. The first full-length bangla soundless film “ Bissho Mongol” was released on 8th November in 1919 by the direction of Jotish Banerjee from that organization. One of the developers of this film was Prionath Ganguli, the son of deoan of nowab estate of Dhaka. After that a Bengali film organization named The British Film Company was formed at Calcutta. The owner of that company was Dhirendronath Gongopaddhay one of the close relatives of Robindronath. According to his direction and story, a film was released named “Bilat Ferot” in 1921.

At the time3 when new film production houses were forming, new films were developing then east Bengal cinema halls were showing Calcutta, Bombe, Madras, Hollywood, and Paris made films. Sequential bioscope show was started at Dhaka in 1913-14 in a jute store of argoni tola. It was named Picture House. 8o Cinema halls were founded in east Bengal within 1947. The numbers of halls were developed in 1400 within 1994. Now VCP, VCR, and DISH can show films at home.


First bangla full-length sound full movie “Jamai Shosthi” was released in Calcutta according to the direction of Amor Chowdhuri in 1931. And in that year first Dhaka made soundless film “the last kiss” was released. Some young sportsman of Nowab family of Dhaka, dramatist, and photographer were the developers of this film. Khaza Adil, Khaza Akmol, Khaza Nasirulla, Khaza Azmol, Khaza Zohir, Khaza Azad, Soyod Shahebe Alom, physical teacher of Jogonnath University Ombujgupto and professor of Dhaka University Andalib Shadini. They wanted to make a film in a natural circumstance with their own actors without the help of a studio. At first they made a short length telefilm named “Sukumari”. The main actor of the film was Khaza Nosrulla and the main actress was a man named Soyod Abdus Sobhan. At that time woman were not allowed to act in a film. So a man was the main actress. Later Nosrulla became a politician and Sobhan became the first Bengali secretary of Pakistan Central Civil Service. Only one still picture of “Sukumary” is kept in Bangladesh Film Archive.

After the success of “Sukumary”, it’s developers made “The Last Kiss”. To make this film a temporary studio was made in the garden of nowab family. At the then time no girl of conservative families were agreed to act in film. So girls were collected from Badamtoli, Kumartoli, and Jindabahah to act. Among the actress there were Lolita, Charubala, Devi, Horimoti. The main actor was Khaza Azmol. Physical teacher of Jogonnath University Ombujgupto directed the film and made the Bangla and English subtitle of it. Dr. Andalib Shadani the Professor of Dhaka University made the Urdu subtitle. “The Last Kiss” was released in 1931 in Mukul hall of Dhaka. Historian Dr. Romesh Chondro Mojumder started the premier show of the film.

The print of the film was taken to the Aurora Company of Calcutta for bigger presentation. But it was lost later. The developers of that film wanted to make Dhaka unique in literature. For they named the production house “Dhaka East Bangle Cinematograph Society”. It was the first film producing organization of Bangladesh.


Kazi Nazrul Islam is the exceptional one in bangla film. His contribution in Literature, journalism, politics, song, drama and film is our savings of past, present and future. Nazrul Islam made a record among the Muslims by joining “sur vandari” in the Maderns Theater, the then famous production company. He had to rush up the voice of the actors. Under his control a number of actors showed their skill in sound full films. Among them there were Angurbala, Indubala, Surbala, Komola Koria, Deren Das, Parul Bala, Shorifa, Kanonbala, Abbasuddin Ahmed etc. they acted in film, sung song.

Later Nazrul played a role as film producer, music director, singer, actor, scriptwriter, and organizer. In 1934 Nazrul with Sottendronath De directed the film “Drubo”. He debuted himself as the first Muslim film director and singer by that film. After founding Dhaka FDC the songs and themes of Nazrul were used in different films. Among them there are “Sirajuddoula”, “Jibon Theke Nea” etc. Two dramas were also made on the life of Nazrul. Another child film was on the way of making.
After Nazrul some bangle Muslims tried to avoid social and religional darkness and related with. Among them there were Abbasuddin Ahmed, Himadri Chowdhury, Kiron Kumar, Shopon Kumar, Udoyon Chowdhury, Bononi Chowdhury, Abdul Ahad, Nazir Ahmed etc. Obayedul Hoque directed and produced “Dukke Gora Jader Jibon” and Udoyon Chowdhury became Prisoner for directing “Manusher Bhogoban”. Most of the Calcutta film workers came to Bangladesh after being free and contributed to its film development.


After founding Pakistan in 1947 its east bangla developed a hope. Considering Dhaka as center new cultural activities were started. A number of person and organization took step to establish film producing company and studio. Among them there were captain s. jaidi, Abbasuddin Ahmed, Ostad Mohammad Khosru, Sogir Ahmed Chowdhury, Forid Ahmed Chowdhury, Shamsul Huda etc. But all the attempts were failed.

On March of 1948 when Pakistani governor Muhammad Ali Jinnah came to visit East Pakistan the then special personality Nazir Ahmed was given to make an informational film. He made “In Our Midst” named informational film with the help of Calcutta engineers. It was the first informational film of Bangladesh.

Tragic death of some brave sons in 1952 encouraged the sincere Bengalis for their freedom. Within two years “Co-operative film Makers Ltd.” Was formed for film making under the leadership of Shohidul Alam, Abdul Jabbar Khan, Kazi Nruzzaman including Abdus Sadek, Dolil Ahmed, Azizul Hoque, Dudu Mia, Kazi Khalek, and Saroar Hossain etc.

Immediately a film unit was formed to make film under control of media department. Attempt of making studio and laboratory at tejgoan of Dhaka was taken. From this unit the first proved picture “Salamot” was made by the direction of Nazir Ahmed. Success of “Salamot” brought a chance for film unit to make their bigger plan true. In 1954, work of the first film of Iqbal films “Muk o Mukhos” was started by the direction of Abdul Jabbar Khan. A short length film “Appayon” was started by the direction of Co Operative Film Makers and Saroar Hossain. On June of 1955 during the rule of Juktofront chief secretary N.M.Khan introduced a film studio and laboratory in tejgoan.

“Muk o Mukhos” was released on 3rd August in 1956. “Muk o Mukhos” was made in the banner of Iqbal films. Nuruzzaman, Shohidul Alam, M.A.Hassan, Abdul Jabbar Khan were the producers. Mosarrof Hossain on behalf of Pakistan Film Trust and M.A.Auyal on behalf of Pakistan Film Service presented the film.

Abdul Jabbar directed the film from his own drama “Dakat”. He acted as the hero. Another actors were Inam Ahmed, Purnima Sen, Nazma, Johrot Ara, Ali Monsur, Rofiq, Nurul Alom Khan, Saiful Bilkis Bari etc. cameraman was K.M.Jaman and song director was Somor Das. The singers were Abdul Alim and Mahbuba Hasnat.


On 3rd April of 1957 FDC was established by bill passing in East Pakistan law authority. Shek Mujibor Rohman introduced the bill. Nazir Ahmed played an important role in the establishment of FDC. Government made him the creative director of FDC.

At first stage FDC permitted some specific directors to make films. Foteh Lohani started the work of “Ashia” the first film of FDC. Nazir Ahmed worked as the background founder of it. “Ashia” was a rural area based art film. It got president award in 1961 as the best Bangla film.
Akther Jong Kardare directed next film of FDC “Jago Hua Savora” in Urdu. The story was taken from “Podma Nodir Majhi” of Manik Bondhopadday. The film got 11 international awards with Moscow international film festival award.
Foteh Lohani’s second attempt “Akas r Mati” was praised as song based film.

Mohiuddin directed “Matir Pahar” had a story of mordacity vs. darkness. Ehtesham directed “ E Des Tomar Amar”. The story based on the social views after country division.
FDC made first stage films were good but they didn’t get expected business success.


In 1968-69 hare started a big student and people strike. In 1971 Bangladesh was introduced as a free country. Johir Rayhan made the first political film of the country “Jibon Theke Nea” in 1970. Total 41 films were released in this year. Other significant works were “Mishor Kumari” of Karigir, “Tansen” of Rofiqul Bari, “Bindu Theke Britto” of Rebeka, “Binimoy” of Subhas Datto, “Kothay Jeno Dekhechi” of Nizamul Hoque.

In 1971 before starring freedom fight some films were released in Pakistan owned East Pakistan. Among them there were “Shorlipi” of Nazrul Islam, “Nacher Putul” of Ashok Ghosh. On other hand after starting freedom fight Jhohir Rayhan went to Calcutta and made the first film of independent bangla named “Stop Genocide”. Some proved picture was also made under his control. At that time film department was made under the leadership of Abdul Jabbar Khan.

29 films of independent bangla were released in 1972. Among them there were “Ora Egaro Jon” of Chasi Nazrul Islam, “Orunodoyer Ogni Shakki” of Shuvas Datte, “Joy Bangla” of Fokrul Alom, “Lalon Fokir” of Soyod Hassan Imam, “Obhuj Mon” of Kazi Jhohir, “”Roktakto Bangla” Momtaj Ali, “Bagha Bangali” of Anondo. 30th January of that year freedom fighter Jhohir Rayhan was lost dramatically after going to find out Shohidulla Kayser.

Some freedom fight based films were also released in 1973. Among them there were “dhire Bohe Meghna” of Alomgir Kobir, “amar Jonmobhumi” of Alomgir Kumkum, “Abar Tora Manus Ho” of Khan Ataur Rohman. Culture based film “Titas Ekti Nodir Nam” of Rittik Ghotok, “Slogan” of Kobir Anwar, social strike based film “Rongbaj” of Jhohirul Hoque was released in this year. Total 30 films were released in this year.

Among the 30 films released in 1974 there were “Songram” of Chasi Nazrul Islam, “Alor Michil” of Mita, “Shonibarer Chiti” of F.A.Films, “Esha Kha” of Mohiuddin, “Masud Rana” of Masud Parvez, “Beiman” of Ruhul Amin etc. From this year Jokes, necked, copy of foreignstory and song were included in bangla films.

In 1975 the government has taken some steps to improve film industry. Among the there were national film award, donation fund for well and creative films. Among the 34 films that released in this year there were “Choritrohin” of Baby Islam, “Badi Theke Begom” of Mohsin. “Stop Genocide” of Jhohir Rayhan got Sid lock award of Noyadelli.

46 films were released in 1976. “Surjokonna” of Alomgir Kobir, “Suprovat” of Kobir Anwar, “Noyon Moni” of Amjad Hossain, “Palonk” of Rajen Torofdar were some of them.

31 films were released ion 1977. “Simana Perie” of Alomgir Kobir, “Bosundhora” of Shubhas Datte, “Jadur Bashi” of Abdul Lotif Bacchu etc. was among them.

4 culture-based films were released in 1978. They are “Sareng Bou” of Abdullah Al Mamun, “Golapi Ekhon Trene” of Amzad Hossain, “Dumurer Ful” of Shubhas Datte and “Golir Dhare Cheleti” of Asraf Siddiki. These films were praised by all over the country. Other mark able films of that year were “Bodhu Bidae” of Kazi Jhohir, “Oshikkit” of Azizur Rahman, “Nolok” of Shibli Sadik and “Fokir Mojnu Shah” of Darashiko. Total 37 films were released on that year. Bangladesh Film Institute and Archive was established on that year.

In 1979, Mohouddin Sakir and Shek Niamot Ali made a film on “Surjo Dhigol Bari”, a famous noble of Abu Ishak. This film got praised as a humane certificate. Other films of the year were “Surjo Songram” of Abdus Samad, “Matir Ghor” of Azizur Rohman, “Rupali Soykot” of Alomgir Kobior, “The Father” of Kazi Hayat etc.


In nineteen eighties copy, necked tendency were increased in films. With this competition of television vs. video was increased.

1980: Among the 47 released films there were “Soki Tumi Kar” and “Ekhoni Somoy” of Abdulla Al Mamun, “Jokar” of Azharul Islam Khan, “Chutir Ghonta” of Azizur Rohman, “Emiler Goenda Bahini” of Badol Rohman, “Dildar Ali” Kazi Hayat, “Gangchil” of Ruhul Amin, “Kosai” of Amjad Hossain etc.

1981: “Lal Sobujer Pala” of Soyod Hassan Imam, “Jonmo Theke Jolchi” of Amjad Hossain, “Kolmi Lota” of Shohidul Hoque Khan, “Jonota Express” of Azizur Rohman, “Jibon Nouka” of Masud Parvez etc. was among of the famous films of the year. Total 39 films were released in that year. Dhaka International Film Festival was held in this year.

1982: Among the 40 released films of the year there were “Devdas” of Chasi Nazrul Islam, “Lal Kazol” and “Chitkar” of Motin Rohman, “Mohona” of Alomgir Kobir, “Dui Poisar Alta” of Amzad Hossain etc.

1983: “Lalubhulu” of Kamal Ahmed, “Pranshojoni” of Johirul Hoque, “Simar” of H.Akbor, “Arshi Nogor” of Khan Ata, “Puroskar” of Sibi Jaman, “Challenge” of A.J.Mintu, “Nazma” of Shubhas Datte etc. was among of the released 44 films of the year.

1984: “Princes Tina Khan” of Aktaruzzaman, “Talak” of Azharul Islam Khan, “Ovizan” of Razzak, “Rajbari” of Kazi Hayat, “Noyoner Alo” of Belal Ahmed etc. were praised films of the year. Total 53 films were released in that year.

1985: Among the 65 released films there were “Dohon” of Sheik Niamot Ali, “Ramer Sumoti” of Shohidul Amin, “Saheb” of Mita, “Shubho Ratri” of Sibi Jaman, “Ma o Chele” of Kamal Ahmed etc. Short-length film “Agami” of Morshdul Islam was rewarded in Newdelli Film Festival.

1986: “Siri Forhad” of Abdul Samad, “Fulsojja” of Shubhas Datte, “Chapa Dangar Bou” of Razzak, ”Porinita” of Alomgir Kobir was among the released 67 films of the year.

1987: Among the released 65 films there were “Hasi” of Sibi Jaman, “Rajlokki Srikanto” of Bulbul Ahmed, “Chondidas o Rojokini” of Rofiqul Bari Chowdhury etc.

1988: 65 films were released. “Tolpar” of Kobir Anwar, “Hiramoti” of Amzad Hossain, “Bheja Chok” of Shibli Sadik, “Stri” of Ikram Biju, “Dui Jibon” of Abdulla Al Mamun, “Agomon” of Shubhas Datte, “Jibondara” of Motyin Rohman, “Jontrona” of Kazi Hayat were some of them. First International Film Festival was held at Dhaka in that year.

1989: 77 films were released. “Sottomittha” of A.J.Mintu, “Bather Dan” of Kamal Ahmed, “Ain Adalot” of Kazi Hayat, “Birangona Sokhina” of Motin Rohman etc was among them.


Films of nineteen nineties had to compete with dish, BBC, CNN. In question of existence filmmakers had add action, song, dance, jokes, sex in films. Some started to copy foreign films.

1990: Total 70 films were released. “Chutir Fade” of Shohidul Hoque Khan, “Goriber Bou” of Kamal Ahmed, “Moroner Pore” of Azharul Islam etc. was some of them.

1991: Ancient director Ehtesam rose up by making “Chadni” with a new pair of Naim-Sabnaj. Other remarkable films of the year were “Ayna Bibir Pala” of Salauddin Kobir, “Pita Mata Sontan” of A.J.Pintu, “Podma Meghna Jomuna” of Chashi Nozrul Islam etc.

1992: Total 72 films were released. “Danga” and “Trash” of Kazi Hayat, “Ondho Bishas” of Motin Rohman, “Dinkal” and “Beporoa” of Kobir Anwar, “Sonkhonil Karagar” of Mustafigur Rohman was some of them.

1993: Copy of an Indian film “Keamot Theke Keamot” was released by the direction of Shohanur Rohman with a new pair of Salman-Moushumi. The film was superheat. Other films were “Chadabaj” of Kazi Hayat, “Banglar Bodhu” of A.J.Mintu, “Podma Nodir Majhi” of Goutom Ghos. These films brought back the educated audiences in cinema halls. Democratic government started film donation from this year.

1994: Famous dramatist Humayun Ahmed introduced himself as a film director. He released “Aguner Porosmoni”. A short-length film of Morshedul Islam “Chaka” was rewarded in France. Another short-length film of Nowajes Ali “Jononi” was also rewarded. Third International Film Festival was held in this year. Bangladesh Film Study Center was founded in this year.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 October 2007 )