Indian Cinema

In terms of ticket sales and number of films produced annually, the Indian film industry is the largest in the world famously known as Bollywood and naturally supported by a vast cinema-going public in India.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of India which is the regulatory body and censorship board of India, cites that every three months an audience as large as India's billion-strong population visits cinema halls. CBFC reviews film, television ads, and promotional material. Indian films and the hindi film industry in particular are popular in various parts of the world, especially in countries with a significant Indian community.

Indian film industry is one of the oldest film industries in the world. The first film advertisement appeared in the Times of India on 7 July 1896 in India, calling and inviting people to witness the Lumiere Brothers' moving pictures, "the wonder of the world", it was not until 1913 that a great Indian film got a public screening. Raja Harischandra was an extraordinary commercial success. Raja Harischandra was directed by Dadasaheb Phalke, who is now remembered through a life-time achievement award bestowed by the film industry in his name, went on to make a number of other films drawing upon themes derived from the Indian epics.

There were a number of other film-makers, working in different Indian languages, pioneered the growth and development of Indian cinema. The emergence of studio system in the early 1930s only paved the way to growth. Devdas was the most successful initial film Devdas (1935), directed by P.C. Barua. The Prabhat Film Company, by V. G. Damle, Shantaram, S. Fatehlal, and two other men in 1929, also got its first successes around this time. Marathi film Sant Tukaram (1936) by Damle and Fatehlal's, was the first Indian film to gain international recognition, winning an award at Venice. The films of V. Shantaram, revolved socially around the people, paved the way for a new set of directors who took it as their turn to further see not only the institutions of marriage, dowry, and widowhood, but the grave inequities created by caste and class distinctions. Achhut Kanya ("Untouchable Girl", 1936), directed by Himanshu Rai of Bombay Talkies went on with the most explicit expressions of these kind. The film portrays the agony of a Harijan girl, played by Devika Rani, and a Brahmin boy, played by Ashok Kumar, whose love for each other cannot be martally united but had a tragic end.

Raj Kapoor, Bimal Roy, and Guru Dutt started the next significant phase of Hindi cinema. Raj Kapoor, son of Prithviraj Kapoor created some of the most popular and memorable films in Hindi cinema. Awaara (1951), Shri 420 (1955), and Jagte Raho (1957) were commercially and critically successes. Do Bigha Zamin ("Two Acres of Land", 1954), directed by Bimal Roy, shows the influence of Italian neo-realism, explored the oppressed life of the rural peasantry under the most severe conditions; his film Devdas (1955), with Dilip Kumar playing the lead role as Devdas, was an evidence to the near impossibility of the fulfillment of 'love' under Indian social conditions. Sujata (1959), also directed by Bimal Roy, described the problems posed by marriages arranged by parents without the consent and sentiments of their children. In the meantime, the Hindi cinema had seen the rise of its first undisputed genius and successful man, Guru Dutt. Today, no world cinema class can be said completed without inclusion of Guru Dutt. The leader in film making, Guru Dutt, was mostly famous for making brilliant lyrical and artistic films within the context of popular Indian cinema of the 1950s, and expanding the Indian cinema commercially, starting with his 1957 masterpiece, Pyaasa. Pyaasa was regarded as one of the top 100 films of all time by the Time Mazgazine.

Under the influence of Bengali film-makers Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, and Mrinal Sen, the Indian cinema, also began to take a different turn in the 1970s against the tide of commercial cinema, characterized by song-and-dance routines, trivial plots, and family dramas. Satayajit Ray had a greater international reputation, for almost every one of his films. Ray directed thirty-seven films, mostly feature films, documentaries and shorts. His first film, Pather Panchali, won eleven international prizes, including Best Human Document at Cannes film festival. Then later, the first generation of Indian film-makers and actors -- Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, and Om Puri came to the scene.

Indian cinema worldwide has a great fan following including British Caribbean, Fiji, East and South Africa, the U.K., United States, Canada, or the Middle East and people love to watch these great Indian films. Moreover, the mainstream commercial releases are the highest grossers worldwide and they continue to dominate the market.

More about Bollywood and Bollywood Actresses and Bollywood Actors.