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‘Matir Projar Deshe’: The rare journey to nationwide alternative distribution

  • Published at 06:51 pm April 11th, 2018
‘Matir Projar Deshe’: The rare journey to nationwide alternative distribution
“Matir Projar Deshe” is running in Star Cineplex and Jamuna Blockbuster cinemas for the third week. The journey of this film’s distribution was a long and winding one. It took five years for Goopy Bagha Productions Limited to complete the film. The reasons behind the long journey were three-fold:  producer Arifur Rahman and director Bijon wanted to show seasonal changes, Jamal and Lokkhi needed to grow up a little from the first act to the second, and money was a barrier for these Indie filmmakers. The film had its world premiere at Seattle International Film Festival in 2016. Notable achievements of this film include winning Best Film award at Chicago South Asian Film Festival, competing at Cinequest Film & VR Fest and Silk Road International Film festival, while taking part in about 20 International Film festivals. When producer Arifur Rahman went to Kakrail to figure out a distribution strategy, he was surprised to hear the first question of the potential distributor - are there any item songs in the film? Arif was told that one needs at least five songs, one item song, fight scenes, and the length has to be more than two hours. Arif realized that the film would have no future within the established distribution syndicate. So he wore the hat of a distributor and released “Matir Projar Deshe” independently. The film started its theatrical journey from April 23 in three different cinema halls: Start Cineplex, Jamuna Blockbuster Cinemas, and Upohar in Rajshahi. The audience response was overwhelming during the first week, and word of mouth brought more audiences to the theatre. On the same day, Jazz Multimedia’s “Pashan” was released, but it only ran for a week at Cineplex. During the second week, Impress Telefilm’s “Kaler Putul” came out, posing more competition. But the Goopy Bagha film’s sales report got better and better. During the third week, when long waited “Swapnajaal” came out, many thought the theatrical run of “Matir Projar Deshe” would soon be over. The indie film kept running strong alongside “Swapnajaal” at Cineplex. Meanwhile, Jamuna Cinemas decided to screen “Matir Projar Deshe” until Pohela Boishakh. Shyamoli Cinema Hall will play Matir Projar Deshe after Pohela Boishakh. Producer Arifur Rahman is taking the film to all 64 districts and arranging alternative screenings. Chattogram was the first city in this initiative. The first week of April, people from the port city got to watch the film for the first time. The last two days of the screenings were houseful and the audience response was very warm. By request of the audience, the film’s Chattogram run is continuing at Chittagong University, Medical College, CHUET, and other places. “Matir Projar Deshe” proved that unconventional storytelling style can work in Bangladesh. The audience response has inspired the filmmakers. It opened new doors for Bangladeshi Independent Cinema as it used unconventional methods to reach out to the audience without compromising with story and artistic integrity.
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