Film Studio is an establishment with various technical facilities for making a motion picture. Although filmmaking began in laboratories, its subsequent growth and progress depended on studios. A studio is equipped to handle the various stages of filmmaking including shooting, dubbing, recording, editing, processing and printing. Thomas Alva Edison established the world's first film studio 'Blackmaria' in 1892. The first film studios of the subcontinent were built in the early 1920s in Bombay, Madras, calcutta and Lahore. The first studio in Calcutta was built in 1915-16 at the initiative of Madan Theatre. Another studio was built in Calcutta in 1930 by New Theatres. After Partition of Bengal in 1947, the first studio in dhaka, Finaka Studio and Laboratories, was built in 1954-55 at Tejgaon at the initiative of the East Bengal Government. In 1957, the Government established the first full-fledged film studio in Dhaka, the East Pakistan Film Development Corporation. Later, some other studios were set up on private initiative.
The FDC Studio In 1957, the East Pakistan Assembly enacted a law that enabled the establishment of the Film Development Corporation (FDC) under the Ministry of Information. An eight-member board representing various government and non-government organisations was formed to run the FDC. The Secretary of the Ministry of Information was its ex-officio chairman and its Managing Director was its chief executive. The corporation now has directors to head administration and finance, production, and engineering divisions. At present, it has 450 staffs. Its first chairman and executive director were Abul Khair (1957-58) and Nazir Ahmed (1957-62) respectively.
The main functions of the corporation was to rent out its facilities to film makers for making films, to run research programmes in the field of cinematography, and to import films, raw materials etc.
FDC has 9 shooting floors, 12 shooting units, 3 sound theatres, a laboratory for processing colour and black and white films, 15 editing machines, optical machines, movie cameras, lighting facilities, back projection machines, vans, generators etc. It participates in producing and distributing films, arranging training courses, searching for new talents, organising film festivals and seminars, selecting films for international festivals, serving on the film censor board and on the committee for film codes, granting committees, and arranging publications.
FDC is the heart of the country's cinematography industry. At the beginning, 4/5 full-length feature films were produced in a year with the help of its facilities but the figure rose to 70/75 in 2008-09. So far about 2,500 feature films were made with the assistance of FDC facilities. A few of these films also earned prizes and awards from various international film festivals.
In 1980, the Department of Films and Publications of the Ministry of Information set up a full-fledged colour laboratory at Circuit House Road, Dhaka to produce newsreels, documentaries and short feature films.
Other studios There are two private-sector studios in Dhaka with facilities for producing films. Of them, the Bengal Motion Pictures Studio Ltd was established in 1969 at Rose Garden at Tikatuli. The Rose Garden was an old house of a zamindar on eight bighas of land with a large pond and very picturesque flowerbeds and plants. In 1972, the studio's founder Bazlur Rahman assumed sole ownership but subsequently, its ownership was changed several times. This studio having no lab is equipped mainly for shooting, dubbing and limited editing.
The second private studio, Bari Studio, is located at East Tejturi Bazar in the karwan bazaar area. Its founder MA Bari first established a studio, Eastern Theatre, at Maghbazar in the 1960s. After it was closed down under government orders, he set up Bari Studio at the present location in 1970. It has facilities for shooting, dubbing and editing. The third private sector studio of the country is at Pagla in Fatulla of narayanganj district. It was established in 1965 by three pioneer film workers, abdul jabbar khan, A Awal and Musharraf Husain Choudhury on 16 bighas of land containing a large pond, a house, gardens and large number of trees. It has facilities for shooting, editing and processing black and white films. [Anupam Hayat]