Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 16:18 UK

Bangladesh anger over India films

By Mark Dummett
BBC News, Dhaka

Cinema in Dhaka
The ban was introduced to protect Bangladesh's film industry

Bangladeshi film-makers and actors say they have forced the government to reverse last weekend's decision to allow cinemas to show Indian films.

Representatives of the film industry complained that the move could wipe out thousands of jobs.

There has been no official word yet from the government.

But a leading Bangladeshi film star told the BBC that the prime minister's office had indicated the ban on Indian films would not be lifted after all.

The star, Razzak, said that a demonstration would not now go ahead as planned.

Film industry leaders had warned that 25,000 jobs could be in danger if Bangladeshi cinemas were allowed to show Indian movies.

They were banned in 1972 to protect local film makers and the local culture.

But cinema owners complain that Bangladeshi-made films are simply not popular enough, and that the middle-classes in particular prefer now to watch pirated DVDs of Bollywood films in the comfort of their own homes.

The previous government clamped down on the cinemas showing pornographic movies and many have since been forced to close.

On Saturday, the commerce minister announced that the ban on Indian films would be lifted to help the cinemas, but the actors seem to have won the argument - at least for now.

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