Cinema of India

Cinema of India

The cinema of India consists of films produced across India, which includes the cinematic culture of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Indian films came to be followed throughout South Asia and the Middle East. The cinema as a medium gained popularity in the country as many as 1,000 films in various languages of India were produced annually.[1] Expatriates in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States continue to give rise to international audiences for Indian films of various languages.

In the 20th century, Indian cinema, along with the Hollywood and Chinese film industries, became a global enterprise.[2] At the end of 2010 it was reported that in terms of annual film output, India ranks first, followed by Hollywood and China.[3] Enhanced technology paved the way for upgrading from established cinematic norms of delivering product, altering the manner in which content reached the target audience, as per regional tastes.[2] Indian cinema found markets in over 90 countries where films from India are screened.[4]

The country also participated in international film festivals, especially Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, G. Aravindan [5] Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Mani Ratnam[4] Indian filmmakers such as Shekhar Kapur, Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Nagesh Kukunoor found success overseas.[6] The Indian government extended film delegations to foreign countries such as the United States of America and Japan while the country's Film Producers Guild sent similar missions through Europe.[7] Sivaji Ganesan, and S. V. Ranga Rao won their respective first international award for Best Actor held at Afro-Asian Film Festival in Cairo and Indonesian Film Festival in Jakarta for the films Veerapandiya Kattabomman and Narthanasala in 1959 and 1963.[8][9]

India is the world's largest producer of films.[10][11] In 2009, India produced a total of 2961 films on celluloid, that include a staggering figure of 1288 feature films.[12] The provision of 100% foreign direct investment has made the Indian film market attractive for foreign enterprises such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures[13][14] and Warner Bros.[15] Indian enterprises such as Zee, UTV, Suresh Productions, Adlabs and Sun Network's Sun Pictures also participated in producing and distributing films.[15] Tax incentives to multiplexes have aided the multiplex boom in India.[15] By 2003 as many as 30 film production companies had been listed in the National Stock Exchange of India, making the commercial presence of the medium felt.[15]

The Indian diaspora consists of millions of Indians overseas for which films are made available both through mediums such as DVDs and by screening of films in their country of residence wherever commercially feasible.[16] These earnings, accounting for some 12% of the revenue generated by a mainstream film, contribute substantially to the overall revenue of Indian cinema, the net worth of which was found to be US$1.3 billion in 2000.[17] Music in Indian cinema is another substantial revenue generator, with the music rights alone accounting for 4–5% of the net revenues generated by a film in India.[17]



A scene from Raja Harishchandra (1913) – The first full-length motion picture.

Following the screening of the Lumière moving pictures in London (1895) cinema became a sensation across Europe and by July 1896 the Lumière films had been in show in Bombay (now Mumbai).[18] The first short films in India were directed by Hiralal Sen, starting with The Flower of Persia (1898).[19] The first full-length motion picture in India was produced by Dadasaheb Phalke,Dadasaheb is the pionier of Indian film industry a scholar on India's languages and culture, who brought together elements from Sanskrit epics to produce his Raja Harishchandra (1913), a silent film in Marathi. The female roles in the film were played by male actors.[20] The first Indian chain of cinema theaters was owned by the Calcutta entrepreneur Jamshedji Framji Madan, who oversaw production of 10 films annually and distributed them throughout the Indian subcontinent.[20]

Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu was an Indian artist and a pioneer in the production of silent Indian movies and talkies. Starting from 1909, he was involved in many aspects of Indian cinema's history, like travelling to different regions in Asia, to promote film work. He was the first to build and own cinema hall's in Madras. The Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu Award is an annual award incorporated into Nandi Awards to recognize people for their contributions to the Telugu film industry.[21] [22]

During the early twentieth century cinema as a medium gained popularity across India's population and its many economic sections.[18] Tickets were made affordable to the common man at a low price and for the financially capable additional comforts meant additional admission ticket price.[18] Audiences thronged to cinema halls as this affordable medium of entertainment was available for as low as an anna (4 paisa) in Bombay.[18] The content of Indian commercial cinema was increasingly tailored to appeal to these masses.[18] Young Indian producers began to incorporate elements of India's social life and culture into cinema.[23] Others brought with them ideas from across the world.[23] This was also the time when global audiences and markets became aware of India's film industry.[23]

Ardeshir Irani released Alam Ara which was the first Indian talking film, on 14 March 1931.[20] H.M. Reddy, produced and directed Bhakta Prahlada (Telugu), released on Sept 15, 1931 and Kalidas (Tamil) [24] released on Oct 31, 1931. Kalidas was produced by Ardeshir Irani and directed by H.M. Reddy. These two films are south India's first talkie films to have a theatrical release.[25] Following the inception of 'talkies' in India some film stars were highly sought after and earned comfortable incomes through acting.[20] As sound technology advanced the 1930s saw the rise of music in Indian cinema with musicals such as Indra Sabha and Devi Devyani marking the beginning of song-and-dance in India's films.[20] Studios emerged across major cities such as Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai as film making became an established craft by 1935, exemplified by the success of Devdas, which had managed to enthrall audiences nationwide.[26] Bombay Talkies came up in 1934 and Prabhat Studios in Pune had begun production of films meant for the Marathi language audience.[26] Filmmaker R. S. D. Choudhury produced Wrath (1930), banned by the British Raj in India as it depicted actors as Indian leaders, an expression censored during the days of the Indian independence movement.[20]

The Indian Masala film—a slang used for commercial films with song, dance, romance etc.—came up following the second world war.[26] South Indian cinema gained prominence throughout India with the release of S.S. Vasan's Chandralekha.[26] During the 1940s cinema in South India accounted for nearly half of India's cinema halls and cinema came to be viewed as an instrument of cultural revival.[26] The partition of India following its independence divided the nation's assets and a number of studios went to the newly formed Pakistan.[26] The strife of partition would become an enduring subject for film making during the decades that followed.[26]

After Indian independence the cinema of India was inquired by the S.K. Patil Commission.[27] S.K. Patil, head of the commission, viewed cinema in India as a 'combination of art, industry, and showmanship' while noting its commercial value.[27] Patil further recommended setting up of a Film Finance Corporation under the Ministry of Finance.[28] This advice was later taken up in 1960 and the institution came into being to provide financial support to talented filmmakers throughout India.[28] The Indian government had established a Films Division by 1949 which eventually became one of the largest documentary film producers in the world with an annual production of over 200 short documentaries, each released in 18 languages with 9000 prints for permanent film theaters across the country.[29]

The Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), an art movement with a communist inclination, began to take shape through the 1940s and the 1950s.[27] A number of realistic IPTA plays, such as Bijon Bhattacharya's Nabanna in 1944 (based on the tragedy of the Bengal famine of 1943), prepared the ground for the solidification of realism in Indian cinema, exemplified by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas's Dharti Ke Lal (Children of the Earth) in 1946.[27] The IPTA movement continued to emphasize on reality and went on to produce Mother India and Pyaasa, among India's most recognizable cinematic productions.[30]

Golden Age of Indian cinema

Following India's independence, the period from the late 1940s to the 1960s are regarded by film historians as the 'Golden Age' of Indian cinema.[31][32][33] Some of the most critically acclaimed Indian films of all time were produced during this period. In commercial Hindi cinema, examples of films at the time include the Guru Dutt films Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) and the Raj Kapoor films Awaara (1951) and Shree 420 (1955). These films expressed social themes mainly dealing with working-class urban life in India; Awaara presented the city as both a nightmare and a dream, while Pyaasa critiqued the unreality of city life.[34] Some epic films were also produced at the time, including Mehboob Khan's Mother India (1957), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film,[35] and K. Asif's Mughal-e-Azam (1960).[36] V. Shantaram's Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957) is believed to have inspired the Hollywood film The Dirty Dozen (1967).[37] Madhumati (1958), directed by Bimal Roy and written by Ritwik Ghatak, popularized the theme of reincarnation in Western popular culture.[38] Other mainstream Hindi filmmakers at the time included Kamal Amrohi and Vijay Bhatt.

While, commercial cinema was thriving, the same age saw the emergence of a new Parallel Cinema movement, mainly led by Bengali cinema.[34] Early examples of films in this movement include Chetan Anand's Neecha Nagar (1946),[39] Ritwik Ghatak's Nagarik (1952),[40][41] and Bimal Roy's Two Acres of Land (1953), laying the foundations for Indian neorealism[42] and the "Indian New Wave".[43] Pather Panchali (1955), the first part of The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959) by Satyajit Ray, marked his entry in Indian cinema.[44] The Apu Trilogy won major prizes at all the major international film festivals and led to the 'Parallel Cinema' movement being firmly established in Indian cinema. Its influence on world cinema can also be felt in the "youthful coming-of-age dramas that have flooded art houses since the mid-fifties" which "owe a tremendous debt to the Apu trilogy".[45] Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak went on to direct many more critically acclaimed 'art films', and they were followed by other acclaimed Indian independent filmmakers such as Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mani Kaul and Buddhadeb Dasgupta.[34] During the 1960s, Indira Gandhi's intervention during her reign as the Information and Broadcasting Minister of India further led to production of off-beat cinematic expression being supported by the official Film Finance Corporation.[28]

The cinematographer Subrata Mitra, who made his debut with Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy, also had an important influence on cinematography across the world. One of his most important techniques was bounce lighting, to recreate the effect of daylight on sets. He pioneered the technique while filming Aparajito (1956), the second part of The Apu Trilogy.[46] Some of the experimental techniques which Satyajit Ray pioneered include photo-negative flashbacks and X-ray digressions while filming Pratidwandi (1972).[47] Ray's 1967 script for a film to be called The Alien, which was eventually cancelled, is also widely believed to have been the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's E.T. (1982).[48][49][50]

Ever since Chetan Anand's social realist film Neecha Nagar won the Grand Prize at the first Cannes Film Festival,[39] Indian films were frequently in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for nearly every year in the 1950s and early 1960s, with a number of them winning major prizes at the festival. Satyajit Ray also won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for Aparajito (1956), the second part of The Apu Trilogy, and the Golden Bear and two Silver Bears for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival.[51] Ray's contemporaries, Ritwik Ghatak and Guru Dutt, were overlooked in their own lifetimes but had belatedly generated international recognition much later in the 1980s and 1990s.[51][52] Ray is regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of 20th century cinema,[53] with Dutt[54] and Ghatak.[55] In 1992, the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll ranked Ray at #7 in its list of "Top 10 Directors" of all time,[56] while Dutt was ranked #73 in the 2002 Sight & Sound greatest directors poll.[54]

A number of Indian films from different regions, from this era are often included among the greatest films of all time in various critics' and directors' polls. At this juncture, Telugu cinema and Tamil cinema experienced their respective golden age and during this time the production of Indian Folklore, fantasy and Mythological films like Mayabazar grew up. A number of Satyajit Ray films appeared in the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll, including The Apu Trilogy (ranked #4 in 1992 if votes are combined),[57] The Music Room (ranked #27 in 1992), Charulata (ranked #41 in 1992)[58] and Days and Nights in the Forest (ranked #81 in 1982).[59] The 2002 Sight & Sound critics' and directors' poll also included the Guru Dutt films Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool (both tied at #160), the Ritwik Ghatak films Meghe Dhaka Tara (ranked #231) and Komal Gandhar (ranked #346), and Raj Kapoor's Awaara, Vijay Bhatt's Baiju Bawra, Mehboob Khan's Mother India and K. Asif's Mughal-e-Azam all tied at #346.[60] In 1998, the critics' poll conducted by the Asian film magazine Cinemaya included The Apu Trilogy (ranked #1 if votes are combined), Ray's Charulata and The Music Room (both tied at #11), and Ghatak's Subarnarekha (also tied at #11).[55] In 1999, The Village Voice top 250 "Best Film of the Century" critics' poll also included The Apu Trilogy (ranked #5 if votes are combined).[61] In 2005, The Apu Trilogy and Pyaasa were also featured in Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies list.[62]

Modern Indian cinema

Some filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal continued to produce realistic Parallel Cinema throughout the 1970s,[63] alongside Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Gautam Ghose in Bengali cinema; Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji N. Karun, John Abraham and G. Aravindan in Malayalam cinema; Nirad Mohapatra in Oriya cinema; and Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani and Vijaya Mehta in Hindi cinema.[34] However, the 'art film' bent of the Film Finance Corporation came under criticism during a Committee on Public Undertakings investigation in 1976, which accused the body of not doing enough to encourage commercial cinema.[64] The 1970s did, nevertheless, see the rise of commercial cinema in form of enduring films such as Sholay (1975), which solidified Amitabh Bachchan's position as a lead actor.[64] The devotional classic Jai Santoshi Ma was also released in 1975.[64] Another important film from 1975 was Deewar, directed by Yash Chopra and written by Salim-Javed. A crime film pitting "a policeman against his brother, a gang leader based on real-life smuggler Haji Mastan", portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan, it was described as being “absolutely key to Indian cinema” by Danny Boyle.[65]

Long after the Golden Age of Indian cinema, South India's Malayalam cinema of Kerala regarded as one of the best indian film genres experienced its own 'Golden Age' in the 1980s and early 1990s. Some of the most acclaimed Indian filmmakers at the time were from the Malayalam industry, including Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan, T. V. Chandran and Shaji N. Karun.[66] Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who is often considered to be Satyajit Ray's spiritual heir,[67] directed some of his most acclaimed films during this period, including Elippathayam (1981) which won the Sutherland Trophy at the London Film Festival, as well as Mathilukal (1989) which won major prizes at the Venice Film Festival.[68] Shaji N. Karun's debut film Piravi (1989) won the Camera d'Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, while his second film Swaham (1994) was in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.[69] Commercial Malayalam cinema also began gaining popularity with the action films of Jayan, a popular stunt actor whose success was short-lived when he died while filming a dangerous stunt, followed by Mohanlal, whose film Yodha was acclaimed for its action sequences and technical aspects.

Commercial Hindi cinema further grew throughout the 1980s and the 1990s with the release of films such as Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981) Mr India (1987), Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Tezaab (1988), Chandni (1989), Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Baazigar (1993), Darr (1993),[64] Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), many of which starred Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan.

The 1990s also saw a surge in the national popularity of Tamil cinema as films directed by Mani Ratnam captured India's imagination.[64] Such films included Roja (1992) and Bombay (1995). Ratnam's earlier film Nayagan (1987), starring Kamal Haasan, was included in Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies, alongside four earlier Indian films: Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959) and Guru Dutt's Pyaasa (1957).[62][70] Another Tamil director S. Shankar, also made waves through his film Kadhalan, and later in the 2000s with Sivaji and Enthiran (Robot).

Tabarana Kathe, a Kannada film, was screened at various film festivals including Tashkent, Nantes, Tokyo, and the Film Festival of Russia.[71]

In the late 1990s, 'Parallel Cinema' began experiencing a resurgence in Hindi cinema, largely due to the critical and commercial success of Satya (1998), a low-budget film based on the Mumbai underworld, directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Anurag Kashyap. The film's success led to the emergence of a distinct genre known as Mumbai noir,[72] urban films reflecting social problems in the city of Mumbai.[73] Later films belonging to the Mumbai noir genre include Madhur Bhandarkar's Chandni Bar (2001) and Traffic Signal (2007), Ram Gopal Varma's Company (2002) and its prequel D (2005), Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday (2004), Irfan Kamal's Thanks Maa (2009), and Deva Katta's Prasthanam (2010). Other art film directors active today include Mrinal Sen, Mir Shaani, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Gautam Ghose, Sandip Ray, Aparna Sen and Rituparno Ghosh in Bengali cinema; Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji N. Karun,Santosh Sivan and T. V. Chandran in Malayalam cinema; Nirad Mohapatra in Oriya cinema; Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal,[34] Mira Nair, Nagesh Kukunoor, Sudhir Mishra and Nandita Das in Hindi cinema; Mani Ratnam in Tamil cinema;and Deepa Mehta, Anant Balani, Homi Adajania, Vijay Singh and Sooni Taraporevala in Indian English cinema.

Global discourse

Indians during the colonial rule bought film equipment from Europe.[23] The British funded wartime propaganda films during the second world war, some of which showed the Indian army pitted against the axis powers, specifically the Empire of Japan, which had managed to infiltrate into India.[74] One such story was Burma Rani, which depicted civilian resistance offered to Japanese occupation by the British and Indians present in Myanmar.[74] Pre-independence businessmen such as J. F. Madan and Abdulally Esoofally traded in global cinema.[20]

Indian cinema's early contacts with other regions became visible with its films making early inroads into the Soviet Union, Middle East, Southeast Asia,[75] and China. Mainstream Hindi film stars like Raj Kapoor gained international fame across Asia[76][77] and Eastern Europe.[78][79] Indian films also appeared in international fora and film festivals.[75] This allowed 'Parallel' Bengali filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray to achieve worldwide fame, with his films gaining success among European, American and Asian audiences.[80] Ray's work subsequently had a worldwide impact, with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese,[81] James Ivory,[82] Abbas Kiarostami, Elia Kazan, François Truffaut,[83] Steven Spielberg,[48][49][50] Carlos Saura,[84] Jean-Luc Godard,[85] Isao Takahata,[86] Gregory Nava, Ira Sachs and Wes Anderson[87] being influenced by his cinematic style, and many others such as Akira Kurosawa praising his work.[88] The "youthful coming-of-age dramas that have flooded art houses since the mid-fifties owe a tremendous debt to the Apu trilogy".[45] Subrata Mitra's cinematographic technique of bounce lighting also originates from The Apu Trilogy.[46] Ray's film Kanchenjungha (1962) also introduced a narrative structure that resembles later hyperlink cinema.[89] Since the 1980s, some previously overlooked Indian filmmakers such as Ritwik Ghatak [90] and Guru Dutt [91] have posthumously gained international acclaim.

Many Asian and 'South Asian' countries increasingly came to find Indian cinema as more suited to their sensibilities than Western cinema.[75] Jigna Desai holds that by the 21st century Indian cinema had managed to become 'deterritorialized', spreading over to the many parts of the world where Indian diaspora was present in significant numbers, and becoming an alternative to other international cinema.[92]

Indian cinema has more recently begun influencing Western musical films, and played a particularly instrumental role in the revival of the genre in the Western world. Baz Luhrmann stated that his successful musical film Moulin Rouge! (2001) was directly inspired by Bollywood musicals.[93] The critical and financial success of Moulin Rouge! renewed interest in the then-moribund Western musical genre, subsequently fueling a renaissance of the genre.[94] Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire (2008) was also directly inspired by Indian films,[65][95] and is considered to be a "homage to Hindi commercial cinema".[96] Other Indian filmmakers are also making attempts at reaching a more global audience, with upcoming films by directors such as Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Jahnu Barua, Sudhir Mishra and Pan Nalin.[97]

Indian Cinema was also recognized at the American Academy Awards. Three Indian films, Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay! (1988), and Lagaan (2001), were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Indian winners of the Academy Awards include Bhanu Athaiya (costume designer), Satyajit Ray (filmmaker), A. R. Rahman (music composer), Resul Pookutty (sound editor) and Gulzar (lyricist).[98]


Prasads IMAX Theatre houses at Hyderabad, one of the largest IMAX-3D in the world (along with the world's largest in Sydney, Australia).[99]
PVR Cinemas in Bangalore is one of the largest cinema chains in India

There have generally been six major influences that have shaped the conventions of Indian popular cinema. The first was the ancient Indian epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana which have exerted a profound influence on the thought and imagination of Indian popular cinema, particularly in its narratives. Examples of this influence include the techniques of a side story, back-story and story within a story. Indian popular films often have plots which branch off into sub-plots; such narrative dispersals can clearly be seen in the 1993 films Khalnayak and Gardish.

The second influence was the impact of ancient Sanskrit drama, with its highly stylized nature and emphasis on spectacle, where music, dance and gesture combined "to create a vibrant artistic unit with dance and mime being central to the dramatic experience." Sanskrit dramas were known as natya, derived from the root word nrit (dance), characterizing them as spectacular dance-dramas which has continued in Indian cinema.[100] The Rasa method of performance, dating back to ancient Sanskrit drama, is one of the fundamental features that differentiate Indian cinema from that of the Western world. In the Rasa method, empathetic "emotions are conveyed by the performer and thus felt by the audience," in contrast to the Western Stanislavski method where the actor must become "a living, breathing embodiment of a character" rather than "simply conveying emotion." The rasa method of performance is clearly apparent in the performances of popular Hindi film actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan, nationally acclaimed Hindi films like Rang De Basanti (2006),[101] and internationally acclaimed Bengali films directed by Satyajit Ray.[102]

The third influence was the traditional folk theatre of India, which became popular from around the 10th century with the decline of Sanskrit theatre. These regional traditions include the Yatra of Bengal, the Ramlila of Uttar Pradesh, and the Terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu. The fourth influence was Parsi theatre, which "blended realism and fantasy, music and dance, narrative and spectacle, earthy dialogue and ingenuity of stage presentation, integrating them into a dramatic discourse of melodrama. The Parsi plays contained crude humour, melodious songs and music, sensationalism and dazzling stagecraft."[100] All of these influences are clearly evident in the masala film genre that was popularized by Manmohan Desai's films in the 1970s and early 1980s, particularly in Coolie (1983), and to an extent in more recent critically acclaimed films such as Rang De Basanti.[101]

The fifth influence was Hollywood, where musicals were popular from the 1920s to the 1950s, though Indian filmmakers departed from their Hollywood counterparts in several ways. "For example, the Hollywood musicals had as their plot the world of entertainment itself. Indian filmmakers, while enhancing the elements of fantasy so pervasive in Indian popular films, used song and music as a natural mode of articulation in a given situation in their films. There is a strong Indian tradition of narrating mythology, history, fairy stories and so on through song and dance." In addition, "whereas Hollywood filmmakers strove to conceal the constructed nature of their work so that the realistic narrative was wholly dominant, Indian filmmakers made no attempt to conceal the fact that what was shown on the screen was a creation, an illusion, a fiction.

However, they demonstrated how this creation intersected with people's day to day lives in complex and interesting ways."[103] The final influence was Western musical television, particularly MTV, which has had an increasing influence since the 1990s, as can be seen in the pace, camera angles, dance sequences and music of recent Indian films. An early example of this approach was in Mani Ratnam's Bombay (1995).[104]

Like mainstream Indian popular cinema, Indian Parallel Cinema was also influenced also by a combination of Indian theatre (particularly Sanskrit drama) and Indian literature (particularly Bengali literature), but differs when it comes to foreign influences, where it is more influenced by European cinema (particularly Italian neorealism and French poetic realism) rather than Hollywood. Satyajit Ray cited Italian filmmaker Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948) and French filmmaker Jean Renoir's The River (1951), which he assisted, as influences on his debut film Pather Panchali (1955). Besides the influence of European cinema and Bengali literature, Ray is also indebted to the Indian theatrical tradition, particularly the Rasa method of classical Sanskrit drama. The complicated doctrine of Rasa "centers predominantly on feeling experienced not only by the characters but also conveyed in a certain artistic way to the spectator. The duality of this kind of a rasa imbrication" shows in The Apu Trilogy.[102] Bimal Roy's Two Acres of Land (1953) was also influenced by De Sica's Bicycle Thieves and in turn paved the way for the Indian New Wave, which began around the same time as the French New Wave and the Japanese New Wave.[43]

Regional industries

Break-up of 2010 Indian feature films certified by Central Board of Film Certification in 24 Languages.[105]
Position Language No. of films
1 Hindi 215
2 Tamil 202
3 Telugu 181
4 Kannada 177
5 Marathi 99
6 Malayalam 94
7 Bengali 84
8 Bhojpuri 64
9 Gujarati 62
10 Oriya 17
11 Punjabi 15
12 English 9
13 Assamese 5
13 Rajasthani 5
15 Konkani 4
16 Santali 2
17 Haryanvi 1
17 Kodava 1
17 Maithili 1
17 Nagpuri 1
17 Nepali 1
17 Rajbanshi 1
17 Sambalpuri 1
17 Mishing 1
Total 1288

Assamese cinema

Jyoti Prasad became the first director of Assamese cinema
First Assamese motion picture - Joymati filmed in 1935
Agarwala putting the finishing touches to the editing of Joymati

The Assamese language film industry traces its origins works s of revolutionary visionary Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala, who was also a distinguished poet, playwright, composer and freedom fighter. He was instrumental in the production of the first Assamese film Joymati[106] in 1935, under the banner of Critrakala Movietone. Due to the lack of trained technicians, Jyotiprasad, while making his maiden film, had to shoulder the added responsibilities as the script writer, producer, director, choreographer, editor, set and costume designer, lyricist and music director. The film, completed with a budget of 60,000 rupees was released on 10 March 1935. The picture failed miserably. Like so many early Indian films, the negatives and complete prints of Joymati are missing. Some effort has been made privately by Altaf Mazid to restore and subtitle whatever is left of the prints.[3] Despite the significant financial loss from Joymati, the second picture Indramalati was filmed between 1937 and 1938 finally released in 1939.

Although the beginning of the 21st century has seen Bollywood-style Assamese movies hitting the screen, the industry has not been able to compete in the market, significantly overshadowed by the larger industries such as Bollywood.[107]

Assamese cinema has never really managed to make the breakthrough on the national scene despite its film industry making a mark in the National Awards over the years

Bengali cinema

Satyajit Ray, Bengali filmmaker.

The Bengali language cinematic tradition of Tollygunge located in West Bengal has had reputable filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen among its most acclaimed.[108] Recent Bengali films that have captured national attention include Rituparno Ghosh's Choker Bali, starring Aishwarya Rai.[109] Bengali filmmaking also includes Bangla science fiction films and films that focus on social issues.[110] In 1993, the Bengali industry's net output was 57 films.[111]

The history of cinema in Bengal dates back to the 1890s, when the first "bioscopes" were shown in theatres in Kolkata. Within a decade, the first seeds of the industry was sown by Hiralal Sen, considered a stalwart of Victorian era cinema when he set up the Royal Bioscope Company, producing scenes from the stage productions of a number of popular shows at the Star Theatre, Calcutta, Minerva Theatre, Classic Theatre. Following a long gap after Sen's works, Dhirendra Nath Ganguly (Known as D.G) established Indo British Film Co, the first Bengali owned production company, in 1918. However, the first Bengali Feature film, Billwamangal, was produced in 1919, under the banner of Madan Theatre. Bilat Ferat was the IBFC's first production in 1921. The Madan Theatres production of Jamai Shashthi was the first Bengali talkie.[112]

In 1932, the name "Tollywood" was coined for the Bengali film industry due to Tollygunge rhyming with "Hollywood" and because it was the center of the Indian film industry at the time. It later inspired the name "Bollywood", as Mumbai (then called Bombay) later overtook Tollygunge as the center of the Indian film industry, and many other Hollywood-inspired names.[113] The 'Parallel Cinema' movement began in the Bengali film industry in the 1950s. A long history has been traversed since then, with stalwarts such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak and others having earned international acclaim and securing their place in the history of film.

Bhojpuri cinema

Bhojpuri language films predominantly cater to people who live in the regions of western Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. These films also have a large audience in the cities of Delhi and Mumbai due to migration to these metros from the Bhojpuri speaking region. Besides India, there is a large market for these films in other bhojpuri speaking countries of the West Indies, Oceania, and South America.[114] Bhojpuri language film's history begins in 1962 with the well-received film Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo ("Mother Ganges, I will offer you a yellow sari"), which was directed by Kundan Kumar.[115] Throughout the following decades, films were produced only in fits and starts. Films such as Bidesiya ("Foreigner," 1963, directed by S. N. Tripathi) and Ganga ("Ganges," 1965, directed by Kundan Kumar) were profitable and popular, but in general Bhojpuri films were not commonly produced in the 1960s and 1970s.

The industry experienced a revival in 2001 with the super hit Saiyyan Hamar ("My Sweetheart," directed by Mohan Prasad), which shot the hero of that film, Ravi Kissan, to superstardom.[116] This success was quickly followed by several other remarkably successful films, including Panditji Batai Na Biyah Kab Hoi ("Priest, tell me when I will marry," 2005, directed by Mohan Prasad) and Sasura Bada Paisa Wala ("My father-in-law, the rich guy," 2005). In a measure of the Bhojpuri film industry's rise, both of these did much better business in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar than mainstream Bollywood hits at the time, and both films, made on extremely tight budgets, earned back more than ten times their production costs.[117] Although a smaller industry compared to other Indian film industries, the extremely rapid success of their films has led to dramatic increases in Bhojpuri cinema's visibility, and the industry now supports an awards show[118] and a trade magazine, Bhojpuri City.[119]

Gujarati cinema

The film industry of Gujarat started its journey in 1932. Since then Gujarati films immensely contributed to Indian cinema. Gujarati cinema has gained popularity among the regional film industry in India. Gujarati cinema is always based on scripts from mythology to history and social to political. Since its origin Gujarati cinema has experimented with stories and issues from the Indian society. Furthermore, Gujarat has immense contribution to Bollywood as several Gujarati actors have brought glamour to the Indian film industry. Gujarati film industry has included the work of actors including Sanjeev Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Bindu, Asha Parekh, Kiran Kumar, Arvind Trivedi, Aruna Irani, Mallika Sarabhai, and Asrani.

The scripts and stories dealt in the Gujarati films are intrinsically humane. They include relationship- and family-oriented subjects with human aspirations and deal with Indian family culture. Thus, there can be no turning away from the essential humanity of these Gujarati cinema. The first Gujarati movie, Narasinh Mehta, was released in the year 1932 and was directed by Nanubhai Vakil. The film starred Mohanlala, Marutirao, Master Manhar, and Miss Mehtab. It was of the `Saint film` genre and was based on the life of the saint Narasinh Mehta who observed a creed that was followed centuries later by Mahatma Gandhi. The film was matchless as it avoided any depiction of miracles. In 1935, another social movie, Ghar Jamai was released, directed by Homi Master. The film starred Heera, Jamna, Baby Nurjehan, Amoo, Alimiya, Jamshedji, and Gulam Rasool. The film featured a `resident son-in-law` (ghar jamai) and his escapades as well as his problematic attitude toward the freedom of women. It was a comedy-oriented movie that was a major success in the industry.

Gujarati films thus proceeded with several other important social, political as well as religious issues. The years 1948, 1950, 1968, 1971 moved in a wide variety of dimensions. The Gujarati movies such as Kariyavar, directed by Chaturbhuj Doshi, Vadilona Vank directed by Ramchandra Thakur, Gadano Bel directed by Ratibhai Punatar and Leeludi Dharti directed by Vallabh Choksi brought immense success to the industry. The problems of modernisation are the underlying concern of several films. The movies like Gadano Bel had strong realism and reformism.

Gujarati films such as Leeludi Dharti reflect the rural world with its fertility rituals. In 1975 Tanariri, directed by Chandrakant Sangani presents highlights the little-known side of Akbar who is usually presented as a consistently benign ruler. The first cinemascope film of Gujarati cinema was Sonbaini Chundadi, directed by Girish Manukant released in 1976. Besides these, Bhavni Bhavai released in 1980 was directed by Ketan Mehta. It boasted superlative performances, fine camerawork and won two awards: National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration and an award at the Nantes Three Continents Festival in France. In 1992, Hun Hunshi Hunshilal, directed by Sanjiv Shah was sought to be post-modern.

Gujarati films were further enriched by the brilliant performances of the film personalities. Anupama, Upendra Trivedi, Arvind Trivedi, Naresh Kanodia (Gujarati superstar), Sneh Lata (great Gujarati actress), Ramesh Mehta and Veljibhai Gajjar, Dilip Patel, Ranjitraj, Sohil Virani, Narayan Rajgor, Premshankar Bhatt, Jay Patel, Ashvin Patel, Girija Mitra, Anjana, Manmohan Desai, Sanjay Gadhvi, Kalyanji Anandji, Deepika Chikhalia, Bindu Desai, Renuka Sahane and Priti Parekh are celebrities who have contributed a lot to the Gujarati film industry.

Hindi cinema

The Hindi language film industry of Mumbai—also known as Bollywood—is the largest and most popular branch of Indian cinema.[120] Hindi cinema initially explored issues of caste and culture in films such as Achhut Kanya (1936) and Sujata (1959).[121] International visibility came to the industry with Raj Kapoor's Awara.[122] Hindi cinema grew during the 1990s with the release of as many as 215 films.[16] With Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Hindi cinema registered its commercial presence in the Western world.[16]

In 1995 the Indian economy began showing sustainable annual growth, and Hindi cinema, as a commercial enterprise, grew at a growth rate of 15% annually.[16] The salary of lead stars increased greatly. Many actors signed contracts for simultaneous work in 3–4 films.[17] Institutions such as the Industrial Development Bank of India also came forward to finance Hindi films.[17] A number of magazines such as Filmfare, Stardust, Cineblitz, etc., became popular.[123]

Kannada cinema

A painting of Rajkumar on a street sign in Bangalore

Kannada film industry (ಕನ್ನಡ ಚಿತ್ರೋಧ್ಯಮ), also referred as Sandalwood, is based in Bangalore and caters mostly to the state of Karnataka. Rajkumar was eminent in Kannada film industry. In his career, he performed versatile characters and sung hundreds of songs for film and albums. Other notable Kannada and Tulu actors include Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Ravichandran, Girish Karnad, Prakash Raj, Shankar Nag, Upendra, Darshan, Shivaraj Kumar, Puneet Rajkumar, Kalpana, Bharathi, Jayanthi, Pandari Bai, Tara, Umashri and Ramya.

Film directors from the Kannada film industry like Girish Kasaravalli have garnered national recognition. Other noted directors include Puttanna Kanagal, G. V. Iyer, Girish Karnad, T. S. Nagabharana, Yograj Bhat, Soori. G.K. Venkatesh, Vijaya Bhaskar, Rajan-Nagendra, Hamsalekha, Gurukiran and V. Harikrishna are other noted music directors.

Kannada cinema, along with Bengali and Malayalam films, contributed simultaneously to the age of Indian parallel cinema. Some of the influential kannada films in this genre are Samskara (based on a novel by U. R. Ananthamurthy), Chomana Dudi by B. V. Karanth, Tabarana Kathe, Vamshavruksha, Kadu Kudure, Hamsageethe, Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu, Accident, Maanasa Sarovara, Ghatashraddha, Tabarana Kathe, Mane[disambiguation needed ], Kraurya, Thaayi Saheba, Dweepa.

Other commercially successful films include Aapthamitra, Yajamaana, Om, A, Super (all directed by Upendra), Mungaru Male (directed by Yograj Bhat), Jogi (by Prem), Nenapirali (by Ratnaja), Duniya and Jackie (both directed by Soori).

Konkani cinema

Konkani language films are mainly produced in Goa. It is one of the smallest film industries in India with just 4 films produced in 2009.[12] Konkani language is spoken mainly in the states of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka and to a smaller extent in Kerala. The first full length Konkani film was Mogacho Anvddo, released on April 24, 1950, and was produced and directed by Jerry Braganza, a native of Mapusa, under the banner of Etica Pictures.[124][125] Hence, 24 April is celebrated as Konkani Film Day.[126]

Malayalam cinema

Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Malayalam film director

The Malayalam film industry, based in the southern state of Kerala, is known for films that bridge the gap between parallel cinema and mainstream cinema by portraying thought-provoking social issues. Filmmakers include Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji N. Karun, G. Aravindan, K. G. George, Padmarajan, Sathyan Anthikad, T. V. Chandran and Bharathan.

Vigathakumaran, a silent movie released in 1928 produced and directed by J. C. Daniel, marked the beginning of Malayalam cinema.[127] Balan, released in 1938, was the first Malayalam "talkie".[128][129] Malayalam films were mainly produced by Tamil producers till 1947, when the first major film studio, Udaya Studio, was established in Kerala.[130] In 1954, the film Neelakkuyil captured national interest by winning the President's silver medal. Scripted by the well-known Malayalam novelist, Uroob, and directed by P. Bhaskaran and Ramu Kariat, it is often considered as the first authentic Malayali film.[131] Newspaper Boy, made by a group of students in 1955, was the first neo-realistic film in India.[132] Chemmeen (1965), directed by Ramu Kariat and based on a story by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, went on to become immensely popular, and became the first South Indian film to win the National Film Award for Best Film.[133] This early period of Malayalam cinema was dominated by actors Prem Nazir, Sathyan, Madhu, Sheela, Sharada and Jayabharathi. Prem Nazir is regarded as one of the most successful film actors in India.[134] He holds four major acting records; including for playing the lead role in over 700 films and for acting opposite eighty heroines.[135]

The 1970s saw the emergence of New Wave Cinema. Swayamvaram (1972), the directorial debut of Adoor Gopalakrishnan pioneered the new wave cinema movement in Kerala.[136] Other movies of the period include Nirmalyam by M. T. Vasudevan Nair (1973),[137] Uttarayanam by G. Aravindan (1974),[138] Swapnadanam (1976) by K. G. George (1976),[139] Cheriyachante Kroorakrithyangal (1979) and Amma Ariyan (1986) by John Abraham etc.[140][141] In the late 1970s, commercial cinema began gaining popularity due to the action films of Jayan, a stunt actor who became one of the first commercial stars of Malayalam cinema. Known for performing stunts, his success was short-lived, ending with his untimely death while performing a dangerous helicopter stunt in Kolilakkam (1980).[142]

The period from late 1980s to early 1990s is popularly regarded as the 'Golden Age of Malayalam Cinema'[143] with the emergence of actors such as Mohanlal, Mammootty, and filmmakers such as I.V. Sasi, Bharathan, Padmarajan, K. G. George, Sathyan Anthikad, Priyadarshan, A. K. Lohithadas, Siddique-Lal and Sreenivasan. This period of popular cinema is characterized by the adaptation of everyday life themes and exploration of social and individual relationships.[144] These movies interlaced themes of individual struggle with creative humour as in Nadodikkattu (1988). Piravi (1989) by Shaji N. Karun was the first Malayalam film to win the Caméra d'Or-Mention at the Cannes Film Festival.[145] This period also marked the beginning of movies rich in well-crafted humour like Ramji Rao Speaking (1989). It was in Malayalam that the first 3D movie in India, My Dear Kuttichathan, was made by Navodaya Appachan, a notable film producer of Kerala.[146] Guru, directed by Rajiv Anchal, is the first Malayalam movie submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film [147] followed by first-time filmmaker Salim Ahamed's family drama film Adaminte Makan Abu(2011).[148]

Among all the playback singers in India, Malayalam singers K. J. Yesudas and K. S. Chithra hold the highest record for winning the National Award for best singers in the male and female category respectively. While Yesudas has won 7 awards so far, Chithra has won 6 awards till date.

During late 1990s and 2000s, Malayalam cinema witnessed a shift towards formulaic movies and slapstick comedies. The Malayalam film industry in recent times has also been affected by the rise of satellite television and widespread film piracy.[149]

Marathi cinema

Marathi cinema (मराठी चित्रपट) refers to films produced in the Marathi language in the state of Maharashtra, India. Marathi Cinema is one of the oldest industry in Indian Cinema. In fact the pioneer of cinema in Union of India was Dadasaheb Phalke, who brought the revolution of moving images to India with his first indigenously made silent film Raja Harishchandra in 1913, which is considered by IFFI and NIFD part of Marathi cinema as it was made by a Marathi crew.

The first Marathi talkie film, Ayodhyecha Raja[1] (produced by Prabhat Films) was released in 1932, just one year after "Alam Ara" the first Hindi talkie film. Marathi cinema has grown in recent years, with two of its films, namely "Shwaas" (2004) and "Harishchandrachi Factory" (2009), being sent as India's official entries for the Oscars. Today the industry is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, but it sprouted and grew first from Kolhapur and then Pune.

Oriya cinema

The Oriya Film Industry refers to the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack based Oriya language film industry. Sometimes called Ollywood a portmanteau of the words Oriya and Hollywood, although the origins of the name are disputed.[150] The first Oriya talkie Sita Bibaha was made by Mohan Sunder Deb Goswami in 1936. Prashanta Nanda started the revolution in the Oriya film industry by not only securing a huge audience but also bringing in a newness in the his presentation. His movies heralded in the golden era of the Oriya commercial industry by bringing in freshness to Oriya movies.[151] Then the 1st color film was made by Nagen Ray and photographed by a Pune Film Institute trained cinematographer Mr. Surendra Sahu titled " Gapa Hele Be Sata"- meaning although its a story, its true. But the golden phase of Oriya Cinema was 1984 when two Oriya films 'Maya Miriga' and 'Dhare Alua' was showcased in 'Indian Panorama' and Nirad Mohapatra's 'Maya Miriga' was invited for the 'Critics Week' in Cannes. The film received 'Best Third World Film'award at Mannheim Film Festival, Jury Award at Hawaii and was shown at London Film Festival.

Punjabi cinema

K.D. Mehra made the first Punjabi film Sheila (also known as Pind di Kudi). Baby Noor Jehan was introduced as an actress and singer in this film. Sheila was made in Calcutta and released in Lahore, the capital of Punjab; it ran very successfully and was a hit across the province. Due to the success of this first film many more producers started making Punjabi films. As of 2009, Punjabi cinema has produced between 900 and 1,000 movies. The average number of releases per year in the 1970s was nine; in the 1980s, eight; and in the 1990s, six. In 1995, the number of films released was 11; it plummeted to seven in 1996 and touched a low of five in 1997. Since 2000s the Punjabi cinema has seen a revival with more releases every year featuring bigger budgets, home grown stars as well as Bollywood actors of Punjabi descent taking part. The cinema saw its first production of a 3D feature film in 2011 titled Pehchaan 3D

Tamil cinema

The Tamil language film industry, known as Tamil cinema, is one of the three largest film industries in India. It is India's second-largest film industry in terms of revenue, production and worldwide distribution including worldwide box office,.[152][153] It is based in the Kodambakkam district of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Tamil films are distributed to various parts of Asia, Southern Africa, Northern America, Europe and Oceania.[154] The industry has inspired Tamil filmmaking in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and Canada. Tamil cinema and Dravidian politics have heavily influenced each other.[155]

With Chennai serving as a secondary hub for filmmaking for other industries and the establishment of the Madras Film Institute, Tamil cinema established itself as an influential and leading industry in South Indian cinema and further attained international exposure with the works of various filmmakers. In 1985, the Tamil film industry made its peak, with a net output was 236 films.[111] Tamil films stand next to Hindi films in terms of the number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[156]

Rajinikanth, a film star in India with large following, receives an average salary of INR350 million (US$7.1 million) per film, which makes him the second highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan and also has nearly 65,000 fan clubs worldwide.[157] Kamal Haasan, one of the versatile actors in India known for being awarded the most number of Southern Filmfare Awards and the only actor with the most number of National Film Awards (three for Best Actor, one for Best Child Artist and one for Best Film). Music directors from Tamil Nadu, such as Ilaiyaraaja and two-time Academy Award-winner A. R. Rahman made a foray into other regional industries and have a reputation and following, while also being predominantly active in Tamil cinema. Film directors who have made significant contributions to the industry include A. Bhimsingh, A. P. Nagarajan, A. C. Tirulokchandar, C. V. Sridhar, K. Balachander, S. P. Muthuraman, P. Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra, J. Mahendran, K. Bhagyaraj, Manivannan, Mani Ratnam, R. Sundarrajan, K. S. Ravikumar, R. Parthiban, S. Shankar and Vikraman. Of late, films directed by Bala, Ameer Sultan and Vasanthabalan have participated in many film festivals across the globe, winning international acclaim.

Some female Bollywood actress have their origin from Tamil, even though some of them not had their initial debut in Tamil cinema. It includes Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini, Rekha Ganesan, Sridevi, Meenakshi Sheshadri, and Vidya Balan.

Telugu cinema

The Telugu language film industry of Andhra Pradesh is one of the three largest film industries in India. As of 2010, it is India's third largest film industry in terms of films produced yearly.[158] The state of Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of cinema halls in India. In 2006, the Telugu film industry produced the largest number of films in India, with about 245 films produced that year.[159] The largest film production facility in the world, Ramoji Film City, is in Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh.[160]

B. N. Reddy, H. M. Reddy, K. V. Reddy, L. V. Prasad, D. V. S. Raju, Yaragudipati Varada Rao, Edida Nageshwara Rao, P. S. Ramakrishna Rao (Bharani Pictures), C. Pullaiah, P. Pullaiah, B. Vittalacharya, Adurthi Subba Rao, V. Madhusudan Rao, Kamalakara Kameshwara Rao, K. Viswanath, Bapu, Jandhyala, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, Dasari Narayana Rao, K. Raghavendra Rao, Ramoji Rao, Pasupuleti Krishna Vamsi, S. V. Krishna Reddy, Puri Jagannadh, K. Vijaya Bhaskar, Ramgopal Varma, SS Rajamouli, Sekhar Kammula, Mohan Krishna Indraganti, Nagesh Kukunoor and Trivikram Srinivas are filmmakers who have made important contributions to cinema.

Bhakta Prahlada, Mayabazar, Narthanasala, Patala Bhairavi, Lava Kusha, Missamma, Bhookailas, Tenali Ramakrishna, Gulebakavali Katha, Daana Veera Soora Karna, Muthyala Muggu, Sankarabharanam, Ananda Bhairavi, Swathi Muthyam, Mayuri, Swarnakamalam, Meghasandesam, Sapthapadhi, Rudraveena, Alluri Seetharama Raju, Sagara Sangamam, Shiva, Kshana Kshanam, Annamayya, Pokiri, Magadheera etc. are some of the films from the Telugu industry which have received national recognition.[161]

Actors like NTR, ANR, S. V. Ranga Rao, Kanta Rao, Kongara Jaggayya, Kaikala Satyanarayana, Krishna, Chiranjeevi, Sobhan Babu, Krishnam Raju, Murali Mohan, Bhanumati, Sharada, Savitri, Jamuna, Anjali Devi, Krishna Kumari, Sowcar Janaki, Roja Ramani, Suryakantham, Vanisri, Lakshmi, Manjula Vijayakumar, Mohan Babu, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Akkineni Nagarjuna, Nandamuri Balakrishna, Daggubati Venkatesh,Sidharth, Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh Babu, Vijayashanti, Gouthami Tadimalla, Bhanupriya, Jaya Prada and Jayasudha have made important contributions to Telugu cinema.

Bomireddi Narasimha Reddy, Paidi Jairaj, L. V. Prasad, B. Nagi Reddy, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, and D. Ramanaidu have won Dadasaheb Phalke Award from this industry.

Genres and styles

Masala films

Masala is a style of Indian cinema, especially in Bollywood and South Indian films, in which there is a mix of various genres in one film. For example, a film can portray action, comedy, drama, romance and melodrama all together. Many of these films also tend to be musicals, including songs filmed in picturesque locations, which is now very common in Bollywood films. Plots for such movies may seem illogical and improbable to unfamiliar viewers. The genre is named after the masala, a term used to describe a mixture of spices in Indian cuisine.

Parallel cinema

Parallel Cinema, also known as Art Cinema or the Indian New Wave, is a specific movement in Indian cinema, known for its serious content of realism and naturalism, with a keen eye on the social-political climate of the times. This movement is distinct from mainstream Bollywood cinema and began around the same time as the French New Wave and Japanese New Wave. The movement was initially led by Bengali cinema (which has produced internationally acclaimed filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, and others) and then gained prominence in the other film industries of India. Some of the films in this movement have garnered commercial success, successfully stradling art and commercial cinema. An early example of this was Bimal Roy's Two Acres of Land (1953), which was both a commercial success and a critical success, winning the International Prize at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival. The film's success paved the way for the Indian New Wave.[42][43][162]

The neo-realist filmmakers were the Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray, closely followed by Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan,[34] K. Viswanath and Girish Kasaravalli.[163] Ray's films include The Apu Trilogy, consisting of Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and The World of Apu (1959). The three films won major prizes at the Cannes, Berlin and Venice Film Festivals, and are frequently listed among the greatest films of all time.[61][62][164][165]

Film music

Indian film dances usually follow filmi songs.

Music in Indian cinema is a substantial revenue generator, with the music rights alone accounting for 4–5% of the net revenues generated by a film in India.[17] The major film music companies of India are Saregama, Sony Music etc.[17] Commercially, film music accounts for 48% India's net music sales.[17] A typical Indian film may have around 5-6 choreographed songs spread throughout the film's length.[166]

The demands of a multicultural, increasingly globalized Indian audience often led to a mixing of various local and international musical traditions.[166] Local dance and music nevertheless remain a time tested and recurring theme in India and have made their way outside of India's borders with its diaspora.[166] Playback singers such as Lata Mangeshkar drew large crowds with national and international film music stage shows.[166] The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 21st saw extensive interaction between artists from India and the western world.[167] Artists from Indian diaspora blended the traditions of their heritage to those of their country to give rise to popular contemporary music.[167]


This section lists the most important film awards given for Indian cinema by national and state authorities.

Award Year of Inception Awarded by
National Film Awards 1954 Directorate of Film Festivals, Government of India
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards 1967 Government of Tamil Nadu
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards 1937 Government of West Bengal
Nandi Award 1964 Government of Andhra Pradesh
Maharashtra State Film Awards 1963 Government of Maharashtra
Karnataka State Film Awards Government of Karnataka
Kerala State Film Awards 1969 Government of Kerala

Below are the major non-governmental awards.

Award Year of Inception Awarded by
Filmfare Awards
Filmfare Awards South
1954 Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.
IIFA Awards 2000 Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd
Star Screen Awards 1994 Screen Weekly

Film Institutes in India

Several institutes, both government run and private, provide formal education in various aspects of filmmaking. Some of them include

See also

  • Cinema of the world


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