Reviving Bangladesh’s Film Industry

Addressing the Challenges of the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC)

Established in 1957, the primary objective of the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) was to create a robust infrastructure for the advancement of the film industry in Bangladesh. Over the years, BFDC has played a pivotal role in identifying and nurturing local talent, resulting in the production of films that have not only received widespread praise within the country but have also gained significant recognition on the international stage. Despite its undeniable importance, BFDC has faced challenges stemming from internal divisions and operational inefficiencies, which have regrettably hindered its potential for significant success and, consequently, impeded the growth and development of Bangladesh’s film industry.

Challenges Faced by the BFDC

1. Internal Divisions: The organisation must confront and overcome the significant challenge posed by its extensive internal conflict. Throughout its history, factionalism has been a persistent issue, with various parties competing for power and influence. Consequently, the decision-making process has become fragmented, frequently leading to the halting of important initiatives due to conflicting interests. The lack of unity among the sectors has made it challenging to implement cohesive policies in the industry’s best interest.

2. Bureaucratic Inefficiencies: The organisational structure of the BFDC has hindered its progress. Complex administrative procedures and bureaucracy have slowed down project approval and funding disbursement. Documentary filmmakers often need help obtaining permits and support, resulting in longer production timelines and increased costs. As a result of these inefficiencies, some aspiring filmmakers have chosen to work with organisations other than the British Film Development Council (BFDC), opting for more flexible but resource-intensive paths.

3. Technological Obsolescence: The outdated technology and infrastructure at the BFDC present a key opportunity for improvement. Despite the current prevalence of digital filmmaking, there is a need to upgrade the facilities and equipment at the BFDC. Addressing this technological gap will empower Bangladeshi filmmakers to compete more effectively on the global stage. By modernising infrastructure in film creation, the BFDC can attract high-profile projects and partnerships, ultimately enhancing the quality and efficiency of the filmmaking process.

Impact on the Film Industry

The internal conflicts and inefficiencies within the BFDC have had a profound impact on the Bangladeshi film industry, creating challenges for its growth. To address this, the industry can focus on enhancing its capacity to produce films competitively and efficiently. Additionally, the industry can focus on retaining and attracting talented actors and filmmakers to prevent brain drain. Establishing robust support systems to encourage investment will be vital to ensuring the continued existence and expansion of the film industry.

Pathways to Reform

In order to address these challenges effectively, it’s important to adopt a diversified strategy. This involves restructuring the company, modernising the infrastructure, and creating a collaborative environment.

1.            Organizational Restructuring: It is imperative to carry out a significant organisational reform to address the internal divisions within the BFDC. Implementing an open and transparent governance system with well-defined roles and responsibilities can help decrease the likelihood of factionalism. Furthermore, the establishment of an independent oversight committee would ensure impartial decision-making and accountability. Conducting regular audits and evaluations can help maintain standards and identify areas for improvement.

2.            Streamlining Bureaucracy: To enhance efficiency, it’s important to minimise bureaucratic obstacles. The BFDC should establish effective procedures for approving initiatives and distributing funding. Using an online gateway for submissions and monitoring can expedite and enhance the transparency of the process. Another constructive approach is to implement employee training programs to improve their proficiency in modern administrative procedures, thereby reducing inefficiencies.

3.            Technological Upgradation: Investing in state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure is essential for revitalising the BFDC. Establishing collaborations with international film organisations and technology enterprises can provide local talent access to advanced equipment and professional training. Creating a digital filmmaking division within the British Film and Television Centre (BFDC) can bridge the technology gap and attract contemporary filmmakers.

4.            Fostering Collaboration: Creating a collaborative environment both within the BFDC and with external stakeholders is crucial. Organising regular seminars and workshops involving filmmakers, producers, and other industry experts can promote creativity and facilitate knowledge sharing. Developing collaborative production agreements with multinational film firms can enhance the prominence of the local film industry. These agreements have the potential to introduce fresh perspectives and generate additional financial resources.

5.            Promoting Industry Incentives: To facilitate investment in the film industry, it would be beneficial for the government and the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) to consider implementing incentives like tax breaks, grants, and subsidies. Furthermore, establishing dedicated cinema funds to provide financial aid to young and independent filmmakers could greatly contribute to promoting diverse narrative expression within the industry.


The Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) holds significant potential as a catalyst for driving the expansion and growth of the country’s film industry. However, it must address its internal divisions and inefficiencies in order to effectively fulfil this crucial role. Strategic reorganisation, modernization, and a collaborative approach are essential for the BFDC to once again set a shining example of innovation and creativity in the industry.

With the implementation of these measures, BFDC can pave the way for Bangladesh’s film industry to thrive, resulting in compelling narratives that hold sway both nationally and internationally. Through efficient management and a competitive edge, the industry can create a significant impact and achieve recognition on the global stage.

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