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Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014

Asia

Bangladesh bans the use of English titles for local movies, as official calls it an 'epidemic'

AFP | Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014

A film poster advertising Bangladeshi film "Most Welcome 2" hangs in front of a cinema hall at a shopping mall in Dhaka on September 3, 2014.

DHAKA - The authorities in Bangladesh have banned local film-makers from giving their movies English titles after a spate of recent Bangla blockbusters with titles such as "Honeymoon" and "I Don't Care".

Mr Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar, general secretary of the Bangladesh Film Directors' Association, said the government had instructed the industry to ensure that all future homegrown releases have Bangla names.

"Immediately after we received the Information Ministry order, we duly informed all the directors that they could not use English titles. We've also pasted the order in our notice board," he told AFP on Wednesday.

Mr Gulzar said that up to 90 per cent of the new movies which are registered with his association each month have English names, calling the phenomenon an "epidemic". "A new myth has been created that films with English titles do good business here," he added.

The four biggest Bangla box office hits released during the recent Eid al-Fitr holiday period had English names - The Hero-The Superstar, Honeymoon, Welcome 2 and I Don't Care.

Local film critic Awlad Hossain said directors prefer to give their movies English titles "just to create some buzz".

"They think it'll add extra value to the film and draw teenagers to the cinemas," he said.

An Information Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed instructions had been handed down to the directors' association.

"The aim is to uphold our local culture," he told AFP.

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