[ EPF 2015 FINALIST ]
The Bangladeshi film industry based in Dhaka, and so known as “Dhallywood” has been going since 1956. Dhallywood movies have fallen out of favor among the richer classes, who prefer foreign films. The growing influence of Bollywood (Hindi cinema) films in Bangladesh has also had an adverse impact on the local industry. Yet the Dhallywood industry produces around 100 movies a year, and does still enjoy the support of many ordinary moviegoers.
“Love Me or Kill Me” is the title of a Dhallywood film, one that expresses the extreme emotions that define the genre. Love and revenge are the core ingredients of our movies. The stories do not change much: boy meets girl, falls in love, bad guy takes girl away, and hero fights to get her back. There is always similar climax and a happy ending. People love it.
When I was growing up in Dhaka, there was no cable TV except the national channel. Bangla film was for us the height of entertainment. Slowly, other films and TV channels took over. We didn’t think Dhallywood movies were cool anymore; they no longer played a part in my life. In the process of making photographs of Dhaka city I visited a film studio in Bangladesh Film Development Corporation and was captivated by the colors, the light and the atmosphere. The events and details were odd, sometimes bizarre. The costumes are flashy, the sets and effects are cheap, and the colors are daring. There seems little contact with real life but I found it full of life.
This grant will help me to continue the work and get more in depth to the story in the coming years.
Sarker Protick was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As a teenager he wanted to be a musician and songwriter, but discovered photography around the age of 24. After finishing his bachelor’s degree, he enrolled at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute to learn photography. Sarker’s photographs have been published in The New York Times, GEO Magazine, The New Yorker, National Geographic, The British Journal of Photography, The Zeit and Wired, among many others.
In 2014, he was named in British Journal Of Photography’s annual “Ones to Watch”. The same year, Sarker was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2015, he went on to win a World Press Photo award for his story “What Remains” and selected for PDN’s 30.