Cine Club (Chalachitra Sangsad) Cinema is not merely a medium of entertainment, rather it chronicles history, tradition, art and culture, society and life itself. Like literature, music, plays, painting and dance, it too can portray life and aesthetics. Its artistic and aesthetic potentials created a distinctive genre of viewers outside its commercial purview. These viewers felt motivated to establish film societies. Their objectives are to provide organisational support to enhance the artistic quality of films, create awareness about the value of art and promote conscious efforts to produce quality films.
The first such club was the Cine Club du France of the 1920s. The Film Society of 1925 in London, the Film Society of Bombay in 1942, the Film Society of Sri Lanka in 1945, the Calcutta Film Society in 1946 and the Bengal Film Society in 1946 followed this. In 1958, the East Pakistan Children's Film Society was formed in Dhaka. A film club was set up in Dhaka in 1962 at the initiative of the East Pakistan chapter of the Pakistan Film Producers' Association with Kalim Sharafi as its general secretary. The Students Film Federation was formed at the university of dhaka in March 1963. These societies were short-lived with very limited activities.
The formation of Pakistan Film Society on 25 October 1963 set in motion a real movement. Until 1969, it had no president. Thereafter the renowned painter Zainul Abedin became its president. Anwarul Huq Khan was its general secretary till 1967. He was succeeded by alamgir kabir. After liberation, the society was renamed as Bangladesh Film Society. It initiated an effective movement for the exhibition of art films, organising discussions, seminars and workshops, publication of a quality journal Dhrupadi, formation of study groups, setting up a library, starting a film cooperative, setting up a branch in Chittagong, opening a branch for children, and starting a film appreciation course. It also raised a demand for state subsidy as an incentive to encourage production of healthy films and setting up of a film archive and a film institute for the same purpose.
The second cinema society of the country, the Dhaka Cine Club, was set up in 1969 at the initiative of Alamgir Kabir and Laila Samad. By 1974, as many as 15 such societies were on the scene. These societies grouped into a federation in 1973. Alamgir Kabir was made its first president. In 1980, Jatiya Sangsad enacted the Film Society (Registration and Regulation) Act to bring cine societies under government control. This measure restricted the number of such societies and their activities. [Anupam Hayat]