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The Birth of Bollywood

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 11:41 PM
Bollywood is taking over the world and the reasons why do not surprise anyone in the entertainment loop. Glitzy costuming, beautiful people and catchy tunes are necessary in films that have entranced audiences since the late 1800s. A 2011 article in The Times of India found that many production companies are clamoring to win favor among the world’s second-largest population. Even with the influx of international offerings, nothing compares to India’s homegrown cinema. Looking through Bollywood’s rich history, people would never believe it all started with a simple reality show.

All in the Name

Indian cinema gained its nickname through very practical means. Colonial imports included a series a short films screened in the coastal town of Bombay, currently known as Mumbai. Early exposure to cinematography helped the capital city emerge as a premiere destination for future movie production. With a series of independent companies producing well-received flicks throughout the year, the Indian cinema industry became Bollywood, a play on the Hollywood moniker.

At the Starting Line

1899 marked the debut of Bollywood’s first unofficial release. A wrestling match filmed by a local portrait photographer enchanted audiences who longed to see familiar faces on the big screen. It took another 14 years before residents enjoyed their first full-length feature. The 1913 film Raja Harishchandra took viewers on a mythological journey and marked the official start of Bollywood fever.

The song and dance that became synonymous with Indian cinema did not emerge on the horizon until the introduction of audio technology in 1931. Actors became household names during the 30s and 40s, starring in pieces based around religion. At this same time, cities in Southern India began shooting films featuring various Indian dialects. 

Constant Change

World of Bollywood
Social change during the 1950s signaled a change in Bollywood offerings. Directors used the platform to educate audiences about the struggle for independence. Many experts consider pieces from the 50s and 60s as some of India’s most innovative offerings.

Change soon came again with the introduction of notable female directors in the mid-80s. Sexy sirens emerged at the center of romances and served as comedic protagonists. The integration of special effects and advanced audio in the 90s signaled another change for the industry. Corporate investors brought larger budgets and created bigger stars.

One thing remains clear: the Indian film industry shows no sign of slowing down. In 2003, approximately 30 Indian film production companies received public listings on the International Stock Exchange. Investments from major Western studios ensure that Bollywood continues to produce its lavish offerings. 

Author Bio

Sharon is a foreign film enthusiast who manages outside DIRECTV deals and marketing for One VisionTV.

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