The Cinema of India consists of films produced in the nation of India. Cinema is immensely popular in India, with as many as 1,600 films produced in various languages every year. Indian cinema produces more films watched by more people than any other country; in 2011, over 3.5 billion tickets were sold across India, 900,000 more than Hollywood. Indian cinema is sometimes colloquially known as Indywood.
As of 2013 India ranked first in terms of annual film output, followed by Nigeria,Hollywood and China. In 2012, India produced 1,602 feature films. The Indian film industry reached overall revenues of $1.86 billion (₹93 billion) in 2011. In 2015, India had a total box office gross of US$2.1 billion, third largest in the world.
The history of cinema in India extends back to the beginning of the film era. Following the screening of the Lumière and Robert Paul moving pictures in London (1896), commercial cinematography became a worldwide sensation and by mid-1896 both Lumière and Robert Paul films had been shown in Bombay.
Silent films (1890s–1920s)
In 1897, a film presentation by one Professor Stevenson featured a stage show at Calcutta's Star Theatre. With Stevenson's encouragement and camera Hiralal Sen, an Indian photographer, made a film of scenes from that show, namely The Flower of Persia (1898).The Wrestlers (1899) by H. S. Bhatavdekar, showing a wrestling match at the Hanging Gardens in Bombay, was the first film to be shot by an Indian and the first Indian documentary film.
The first Indian film released in India was Shree Pundalik, a silent film in Marathi by Dadasaheb Torne on 18 May 1912 at Coronation Cinematograph, Bombay. Some have argued that Pundalik was not the first Indian film, because it was a photographic recording of a play, and because the cameraman was a British man named Johnson and the film was processed in London.
The first full-length motion picture in India was produced by Dadasaheb Phalke, Phalke is seen as the pioneer of the Indian film industry and a scholar of India's languages and culture. He employed elements from Sanskrit epics to produce his Raja Harishchandra (1913), a silent film in Marathi. The female characters in the film were played by male actors. Only one print of the film was made, for showing at the Coronation Cinematograph on 3 May 1913. It was a commercial success. The first silent film in Tamil, Keechaka Vadham was made by R. Nataraja Mudaliar in 1916.
Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu was an Indian artist and a film pioneer. From 1909, he was involved in many aspects of Indian cinema, travelling across Asia. He was the first to build and own cinemas in Madras. He was credited as the father of Telugu cinema. In South India, the first Tamil talkie Kalidas was released on 31 October 1931. Nataraja Mudaliar established South India's first film studio in Madras.
Film steadily gained popularity across India. Tickets were affordable to the masses (as low as an anna (one-sixteenth of a rupee) in Bombay) with additional comforts available at a higher price.
Young producers began to incorporate elements of Indian social life and culture into cinema. Others brought ideas from across the world. Global audiences and markets soon became aware of India's film industry.
In 1927, the British Government, to promote the market in India for British films over American ones, formed the Indian Cinematograph Enquiry Committee. The ICC consisted of three Brits and three Indians, led by T. Rangachari, a Madras lawyer. This committee failed to support the desired recommendations of supporting British Film, instead recommending support for the fledgling Indian film industry. Their suggestions were shelved.
In 1932, the name "Tollywood" was coined for the Bengali film industry because Tollygunge rhymed with "Hollywood". Tollygunge was then the centre of the Indian film industry. Bombay later overtook Tollygunge as the industry's center, spawning "Bollywood" and many other Hollywood-inspired names.
On 10 March 1935, another pioneer film maker Jyoti Prasad Agarwala made his first film Joymoti in Assamese. Jyoti Prasad went to Berlin to learn more about films. Indramalati is another film he himself produced and directed after Joymoti. The first film studio in South India, Durga Cinetone was built in 1936 by Nidamarthi Surayya in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. 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 Indian films. Studios emerged by 1935 in major cities such as Madras, Calcutta and Bombay as filmmaking became an established craft, exemplified by the success of Devdas. directed by an Assamese film maker Pramathesh Baruah. In 1937, Kisan Kanhiya directed by Moti B was released, the first colour film made in India. The 1940 film, Vishwa Mohini, is the first Indian film to depict the Indian movie world. The film was directed by Y. V. Rao and scripted by Balijepalli Lakshmikanta Kavi.
The Indian Masala film—a term used for mixed-genre films that combined song, dance, romance etc.—arose following World War II. 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 independence divided the nation's assets and a number of studios moved to Pakistan. Partition became an enduring film subject thereafter.
After Indian independence the film industry was investigated by the S. K. Patil Commission. Patil recommended setting up a Film Finance Corporation (FFC) under the Ministry of Finance. This advice was adopted in 1960 and FFC provide financial support to filmmakers. The Indian government had established a Films Division by 1948, which eventually became one of the world's largest documentary film producers with an annual production of over 200 short documentaries, each released in 18 languages with 9,000 prints for permanent film theatres across the country.
The Apu Trilogy (1955–1959, Satyajit Ray) won major prizes at all the major international film festivals and firmly established the Parallel Cinema movement. Pather Panchali (1955), the first part of the trilogy, marked Ray's entry in Indian cinema. The trilogy's influence on world cinema can be felt in the "youthful coming-of-agedramas that flooded art houses since the mid-fifties", which "owe a tremendous debt to the Apu trilogy".
During the 1960s, Indira Gandhi's intervention during her reign as the Information and Broadcasting Minister of India supported production of off-beat cinematic by FFC.
Commercial Hindi cinema began thriving, including acclaimed films Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959, Guru Dutt) Awaara (1951) and Shree 420 (1955, Raj Kapoor). 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.
Ray's contemporaries Ghatak and Dutt were overlooked in their own lifetimes, but generated international recognition in the 1980s and 1990s. Ray is regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of 20th century cinema, with Dutt and Ghatak. In 1992, the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll ranked Ray at No. 7 in its list of "Top 10 Directors" of all time, while Dutt ranked No. 73 in the 2002 Sight & Sound poll.
Multiple films from this era are included among the greatest films of all time in various critics' and directors' polls. Multiple Ray films appeared in the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll, including The Apu Trilogy (ranked No. 4 in 1992 if votes are combined),Jalsaghar (ranked No. 27 in 1992), Charulata (ranked No. 41 in 1992) and Aranyer Din Ratri (ranked No. 81 in 1982). The 2002 Sight & Sound critics' and directors' poll also included the Dutt films Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool (both tied at #160), Ghatak's 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. In 1998, the critics' poll conducted by the Asian film magazine Cinemaya included The Apu Trilogy (ranked No. 1 if votes are combined), Ray's Charulata and Jalsaghar (both tied at #11), and Ghatak's Subarnarekha (also tied at #11).
Kamal Haasan was introduced as child actor in 1960 Tamil language movie Kalathur Kannamma, Haasan's performance earned him the President's Gold Medal at the age of 6. Kamal Haasan acted all major Indian language Movies within the age of 25. He is one of the most experience actor in Indian cinema, he have more than 58 years of exprience.
Classic Bollywood (1970s–1980s)
Realistic Parallel Cinema continued throughout the 1970s, practiced in many Indian film cultures. The FFC's art film orientation came under criticism during a Committee on Public Undertakings investigation in 1976, which accused the body of not doing enough to encourage commercial cinema.
By the mid-1970s, crime-action films like Zanjeer and Sholay (1975) solidified Bachchan's position as a lead actor. The devotional classic Jai Santoshi Ma (1975) was made on a shoe-string budget and became a box office success and a cult classic. Another important film was Deewaar (1975,Yash Chopra). This crime film pitted "a policeman against his brother, a gang leader based on the real-life smuggler Haji Mastan", portrayed by Bachchan. Danny Boyle described it as "absolutely key to Indian cinema".
In the late 1990s, Parallel Cinema began a resurgence in Hindi cinema, largely due to the critical and commercial success of crime films such as Satya (1998) and Vaastav (1999). These films launched a genre known as Mumbai noir, urban films reflecting social problems there.
Salim-Javed were highly influential in South Indian cinema. In addition to writing two Kannada films, many of their Bollywood films had remakes produced in other regions, including Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam cinema. While the Bollywood directors and producers held the rights to their films in Northern India, Salim-Javed retained the rights in South India, where they sold remake rights, usually for around ₹1 lakh (equivalent to ₹27 lakh or US$38,000 in 2017) each, for films such as Zanjeer, Yaadon Ki Baarat and Don. Several of these remakes became breakthroughs for Rajinikanth, who portrayed Bachchan's role for several Tamil remakes.
Sridevi in 2012. The most successful Indian actress during the 1980s–1990s, she was considered one of India's greatest and most influential movie stars and is cited as the "First Female Superstar of Bollywood cinema".
Sridevi was widely considered as the first female superstar of Bollywood cinema due to her pan-Indian appeal and a rare actor who had an equally successful career in the major Indian film industries: Hindi, Tamil and Telugu . She's also the only movie star in history of Bollywood to star in the top 10 highest grossers of the year throughout her active period (1983-1997).
By 1996, the Indian film industry had an estimated domestic cinema viewership of 600million viewers, establishing India as one of the laregst film markets, with the largest regional industries being Hindi and Tamil films. In 2001, in terms of ticket sales, Indian cinema sold an estimated 3.6 billion tickets annually across the globe, compared to Hollywood's 2.6 billion tickets sold.