Cinema of India
Cinema of India


The cinema of India consists of films produced across India, including the cinematic culture of Mumbai along with the cinematic traditions of states such as Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Indian films came to be followed throughout South Asia and the Middle East. As cinema, as a medium gained popularity in the country as many as 1,000 films in various languages of India were produced annually. Expatriates in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States continued to give rise to international audiences for Hindi-language films.
Devi in the 1929 film, Prapancha Pasha (A Throw of Dice), directed by Franz Osten.jpg|thumb|Charu Roy and Seeta Devi in the 1929 film, Prapancha Pash.]]
In the 20th century, Indian cinema, along with the American and Chinese film industries, became a global enterprise. Enhanced technology paved the way for upgradation from established cinematic norms of delivering product, radically altering the manner in which content reached the target audience. Indian cinema found markets in over 90 countries where films from India are screened. The country also participated in international film festivals especially Satyajith Ray (Bengali), Adoor Gopal Krishnan, Shaji N Karun (Malayalam). Indian filmmakers such as Shekhar Kapur, Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta etc. found success overseas. 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.
India is the world's largest producer of films, producing close to a thousand films annually. About 600 of the total films produced are in Telugu and Hindi, approximately 300 each, while the remaining are in other languages. However, Hindi films account for about half of the total revenue generated by cinema in India. The provision of 100% foreign direct investment has made the Indian film market attractive for foreign enterprises such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. Prominent Indian enterprises such as Zee, UTV and Adlabs also participated in producing and distributing films. Tax incentives to multiplexes have aided the multiplex boom in India. 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.
The Indian diaspora constitutes 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. 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 1.3 billion US Dollars in 2000. Facilities for film production in the country include Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, the home of Telugu film industry, the largest film studio complex in the world as certified by Guinness World Records. 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. India made first movie in 1913.Today bollywood has become the most of movie making industry in the world.


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

A scene from the first motion picture of the Assamese film industry, Joymati (1935)

Devika Rani and Ashok Kumar in Achhut Kanya (1936)
Following the screening of the Lumiere moving pictures in London (1895) cinema became a sensation across Europe and by July 1896 the Lumiere films had been in show in Bombay (now Mumbai). The first short films in India were directed by Hiralal Sen, starting with The Flower of Persia (1898). The first full-length motion picture in India was produced by Dadasaheb Phalke, 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. (Interestingly, the female roles in the film were played by male actors.). 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.
During the early twentieth century cinema as a medium gained popularity across India's population and its many economic sections. Tickets were made affordable to the common man at a low price and for the financially capable additional comforts meant additional admission ticket price. Audiences thronged to cinema halls as this affordable medium of entertainment was available for as low as an anna (4 paisa) in Bombay. The content of Indian commercial cinema was increasingly tailored to appeal to these masses. Young Indian producers began to incorporate elements of India's social life and culture into cinema. Others brought with them ideas from across the world. This was also the time when global audiences and markets became aware of India's film industry.
Ardeshir Irani released Alam Ara, the first Indian talking film, on 14 March 1931. Following the inception of 'talkies' in India some film stars were highly sought after and earned comfortable incomes through acting. 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. 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.  Bombay Talkies came up in 1934 and Prabhat Studios in Pune had begun production of films meant for the Marathi language audience. 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.
The Indian Masala film—a slang used for commercial films with song, dance, romance etc.—came up following the second world war. South Indian cinema gained prominence throughout India with the release of S.S. Vasan's Chandralekha. 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. The partition of India following its independence divided the nation's assets and a number of studios went to the newly formed Pakistan.
Following independence the cinema of India was inquired by the S.K. Patil Commission. S.K. Patil, head of the commission, viewed cinema in India as a 'combination of art, industry, and showmanship' while noting its commercial value. Patil further recommended setting up of a Film Finance Corporation under the Ministry of Finance. This advice was later taken up in 1960 and the institution came into being to provide financial support to talented filmmakers throughout India. 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.
The Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), an art movement with a communist inclination, began to take shape through the 1940s and the 1950s. 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. The IPTA movement continued to emphasize on reality and went on to produce Mother India and Pyaasa, among of India's most recognizable cinematic productions.

Golden Age of Indian cinema

A scene from Ritwik Ghatak's Nagarik (1952), considered Bengali cinema's earliest art film

Wide open eyes, a continual motif in Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy (1955– 1959)

Guru Dutt in Pyaasa (1957), for which he was the director, producer and leading actor
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. Some of the most critically acclaimed Indian films of all time were produced during this period. In commercial Hindi cinema, examples of famous 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. Some of the most famous epic films of Hindi cinema 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 and K. Asif's Mughal-e-Azam (1960). V. Shantaram's Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957) is believed to have inspired the Hollywood film The Dirty Dozen (1967). Madhumati (1958), directed by Bimal Roy and written by Ritwik Ghatak, popularized the theme of reincarnation in Western popular culture. Other mainstream Hindi filmmakers at the time included Kamal Amrohi and Vijay Bhatt.
While commercial Indian cinema was thriving, the period also saw the emergence of a new Parallel Cinema movement, mainly led by Bengali cinema. Early examples of films in this movement include Chetan Anand's Neecha Nagar (1946),  Ritwik Ghatak's Nagarik (1952), and Bimal Roy's Two Acres of Land (1953), laying the foundations for Indian neorealism and the "Indian New Wave". Pather Panchali (1955), the first part of the The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959) by Satyajit Ray, marked his entry in Indian cinema. 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". 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.
The cinematographer Subrata Mitra, who made his debut with Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy, also had an importance 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.  Some of the experimental techniques which Satyajit Ray pioneered include photo-negative flashbacks and X- ray digressions while filming Pratidwandi (1972). 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). Some of Ritwik Ghatak's films also have strong similarities to later famous international films, such as Bari Theke Paliye (1958) resembling Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows (1959) and Ajantrik (1958) having elements that resemble Taxi Driver (1976) and the Herbie films (1967–2005).
Other regional industries also had their 'Golden Age' during this period. Commercial Tamil cinema experienced a growth in the number of commercially successful films produced. Some of the most famous Tamil film personalities at the time included M. G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan, M. N. Nambiyar, Asokan and Nagesh. Marathi cinema also ushered in a 'Golden Age' at this time, with some of its directors such as V. Shantaram later playing in instrumental role in mainstream Hindi cinema's 'Golden Age'.
Ever since Chetan Anand's social realist film Neecha Nagar won the Grand Prize at the first Cannes Film Festival, 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. 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. Ray is regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of 20th century cinema, while Dutt and Ghatak are also among the greatest filmmakers of all time. In 1992, the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll ranked Ray at #7 in its list of "Top 10 Directors" of all time, while Dutt was ranked #73 in the 2002 Sight & Sound greatest directors poll.
A number of Indian films from this era are often included among the greatest films of all time in various critics' and directors' polls. 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), The Music Room (ranked #27 in 1992), Charulata (ranked #41 in 1992) and Days and Nights in the Forest (ranked #81 in 1982). 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.[51] 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). 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). In 2005, The Apu Trilogy and Pyaasa were also featured in Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies list.

Modern Indian cinema

A scene from Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Mathilukal (1989)
Some filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal continued to produce realistic Parallel Cinema throughout the 1970s, alongside Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Gautam Ghose in Bengali cinema; Adoor Gopalakrishnan, John Abraham and G. Aravindan in Malayalam cinema; and Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani and Vijaya Mehta in Hindi cinema. 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. 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. The devotional classic Jai Santoshi Ma was also released in 1975. 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.
Commercial cinema further grew throughout the 1980s and the 1990s with the release of films such as Mr India (1987), Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Tezaab (1988), Chandni (1989), Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Baazigar (1993), Darr (1993), Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), many of which starred Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan.

Roja, the village girl played by Madhoo, in Mani Ratnam's Tamil feature film Roja (1992)
The 1990s also saw a surge in the national popularity of Tamil cinema as films directed by Mani Ratnam captured India's imagination. 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). Another Tamil director S. Shankar also made waves through his film Kadhalan, famous for its music and actor Prabhu Deva's dancing. The South Indian film industry not only released cinema with national appeal but also featured multicultural music which found appreciation among the national Indian audience. Some Tamil filmi composers such as A. R. Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja have since acquired a large national, and later international, following. Rahman's debut soundtrack for Roja was included in Time Magazine's "10 Best Soundtracks" of all time, and he would later win two Academy Awards for his international Slumdog Millionaire (2008) soundtrack. Tabarana Kathe, a Kannada film, was screened at various film festivals including Tashkent, Nantes, Tokyo, and the Film Festival of Russia.
Long after the Golden Age of Indian cinema, South India's Malayalam cinema of Kerala 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. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who is often considered to be Satyajit Ray's spiritual heir, 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. 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.

Kamal Hassan as Velu Nayagan in Nayakar

Kamal Hassan as Velu Nayakar in Nayagan,was included in Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies

Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) with his cricket team consisting of village-folk, in Ashutosh Gowarikar's Lagaan (2001).
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,[64] urban films reflecting social problems in the city of Mumbai.[65] 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), and Irfan Kamal's Thanks Maa (2009). Other art film directors active today include Mrinal Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Gautam Ghose, Sandip Ray, Aparna Sen and Rituparno Ghosh in Bengali cinema; Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji N. Karun and T. V. Chandran in Malayalam cinema; Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal,[23] Mira Nair, Nagesh Kukunoor, Sudhir Mishra and Nandita Das in Hindi cinema; Mani Ratnam and Santosh Sivan in Tamil cinema; and Deepa Mehta, Anant Balani, Homi Adajania, Vijay Singh and Sooni Taraporevala in Indian English cinema.