Essay On Movies In India

The year 2017 heard voices from across the globe speak up in solidarity for gender equality. Today, with social media as the mega-phone that amplifies the global appeal for equality, the term seems to be suffering from semantic saturation i.e. due to constant repetition, it seems to have lost its meaning.

However, the gender gap is very real. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2017 that studied the parity gap across parameters such as access to health, education, politics and workplace, 2017 has been a bad year with the gender gap widening for the first time since records began in 2006. It pointed out that at the current rate of progress, it will take 100 years to bridge the global gender gap (and 217 years to fill workplace gender divide). The same report found India at 108th position in the Global Gender Gap index, a drop from 87 in 2016.

Before we get into the ways and means of accelerating gender equality at the workplace, let’s take a step back to understand what it stands for. Gender equality is the state in which access to rights and opportunities is unaffected by gender. In other words, it is a state devoid of assumptions and stereotypes that diminish the potential of an individual on the basis of their gender. But to really understand equality, it’s necessary to recognize inequality.

Gender bias at work

Gender norms call for women to take up the bulk of the responsibilities at home, and this puts the onus on women to choose between work or family. Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 asked the men to put a monetary value to all the chores their wives did by estimating how much they’d have to pay someone else to do it. With this simple task, Gbowee demonstrated the value of unpaid work that women are expected to do – efforts that are routinely dismissed by working men and women.

This imbalance caused by gender norms or biases penetrates the workplace as well. According to a worldwide survey by Accenture, women are 22% less likely to reach manager level than their male peers. Conversely, men are 47% more likely to reach senior management/director positions than their female peers. The report confirmed that while there are a number of social and economic barriers to equality in the workplace such as educational disparities, childcare, domestic responsibilities and cultural biases, an organisation’s culture can hold women back too.

Why should we be worried about women dropping out mid-career?

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), improving gender parity may result in significant economic dividends depending on the situation of different economies. Gender equality could add additional $250 billion to the GDP of the United Kingdom, $550 billion to Japan’s and $2.5 trillion to China’s. The global GDP could increase by $5.3 trillion by 2025 if the gender gap in economic participation was closed by 25% over the same period.

At an enterprise level, gender equality has benefits comprising better decision making, innovation and greater employee satisfaction leading to higher growth and profits. The WEF report highlighted a LinkedIn research which found that women are under-represented in engineering, manufacturing and construction, and information, communication and technology. Each of these segments lose out the potential benefits of greater gender diversity.

Even at an individual level, the benefits of an equal workplace are seen by men and women alike. The Accenture study quoted earlier identified 40 factors that influence advancement at the workplace. The list of 40 includes gender diversity as a priority, diverse leadership, policies such as maternal and paternal leave and cultural drivers for a more inclusive workplace. The study found that in organisations where these 40 factors are implemented, even men are 23% more likely to advance to a manager level.

Benefits of a 50-50 workplace that leverages the full-potential of its employees has a 3-tier impact – on individual, enterprise, as well as the economy at large. Several companies have integrated gender inclusive frameworks with their organisational structure with the belief that diversity makes the company stronger in terms of innovation, creativity and growth. Representation, parental leave, family support, leadership training, flexible work schedules and transparency are some such policies that are being implemented in organisations to create a diverse and progressive work environment.

Digital literacy - an equaliser?

The movement towards an equal workforce is a slow but steady one which requires progressive transformations in both social and economic fronts of equality. Even though parity might take years to achieve, there are a few enablers that women can benefit from today - digital technology being one of them. A research by Accenture explored how digital technology can be a great facilitator for women. The research, a global survey of 28,000 women and men, went on to highlight three accelerators that could close the gender pay gap – digital fluency, career strategy and tech immersion. According to the research, digital fluency – the extent to which people embrace and use digital technologies – advances pay equality by providing women access to online courses, networking, banking and paid work.

To complement digital fluency, a career strategy would help women manage their careers through mentorship, promotion and training. Lastly, tech immersion – acquiring STEM and digital skills – would help women advance as quickly as men in the workforce and increase their chances of working in a high paying industry. The study argues that combining these three equalizers would reduce the pay gap by 35% worldwide.

Organisations that are built on the principles of diversity know the following points to be true - that diversity is important to make a business stronger and more innovative; that gender equality supports those who have been denied opportunities based on unfair gender biases; and that workplaces need to evolve to make place for different needs and requirements and be flexible enough to create a sense of belonging for every individual in the workforce.

Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equality in the workforce and continues to share its point of view while implementing inclusive policies in its own organisation and opening doors for women in STEM. With more than 40% of the workforce being women, 40% women new hires in 2016, and a vision to have 25% women managing directors globally by 2020 in their workforce, Accenture is paving the path towards a 50-50 world by 2025.

To know more about gender equality in the workplace and how to achieve it, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.

Indian cinema
No. of screens6,000 single screens (2016)
2,100 multiplex screens (2016)[1]
 • Per capita6 per million (2016)[2]
Produced feature films (2017)[3]
Number of admissions (2016)[4][5]
Gross box office
Total₹15,500 crore (US$2.4 billion) (2016)[6]
National filmsIndia: US$2.1 billion (2015)[7]

The Cinema of India[8] consists of films produced in the nation of India.[9] Cinema is immensely popular in India, with as many as 1,600 films produced in various languages every year.[10][11] Indian cinema produces more films watched by more people than any other country; in 2011, over 3.5 billion tickets were sold across the globe, 900,000 more than Hollywood.[12]

As of 2013 India ranked first in terms of annual film output, followed by Nollywood,[10][13]Hollywood and China.[14] In 2012, India produced 1,602 feature films.[10] 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,[7] one of the largest in the world.[15]

Indian cinema is a global enterprise.[16] Its films have a following throughout Southern Asia, and across Asia, Europe, the Greater Middle East, North America, Eastern Africa and elsewhere, reaching in over 90 countries.[17]Biopics including Dangal became transnational blockbusters grossing over $300 million worldwide[18]

Global enterprises such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures[19][20] and Warner Bros invested in the industry along with Indian enterprises such as AVM Productions, Prasad's Group, Sun Pictures, PVP Cinemas, Zee, UTV, Suresh Productions, Eros Films, Ayngaran International, Pyramid Saimira, Aascar Films and Adlabs. By 2003 as many as 30 film production companies had been listed in the National Stock Exchange of India.[21]

The overall revenue of Indian cinema reached US$1.3 billion in 2000.[22] The industry is segmented by language. The Hindi language film industry is known as Bollywood, the largest sector, representing 43% of box office revenue. The South Indian film industry encompasses five film cultures: Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Tulu. Combined Tamil and Telugu film industries revenues represent 36%.[23]

Millions of Indians overseas watch Indian films, accounting for some 12% of revenues.[24] Music rights alone account for 4–5% of net revenues.[22]


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), animated photography became a worldwide sensation and by mid-1896 both Lumière and Robert Paul films had been shown in Bombay.[25]

Silent films (1910s–1920s)[edit]

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).[30]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.[citation needed]

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.[31][32] 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.[33][34]

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.[35] 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.[36]

The first chain of Indian cinemas, Madan Theatre was owned by Parsi entrepreneur Jamshedji Framji Madan, who oversaw production of 10 films annually and distributed them throughout India beginning in 1902.[35] He founded Elphinstone Bioscope Company in Calcutta. Elphinstone merged into Madan Theatres Limited in 1919, which had brought many of Bengal's most popular literary works to the stage. He also produced Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra in 1917, a remake of Phalke's Raja Harishchandra (1913).

Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu was an Indian artist and a film pioneer.[37] 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.[38] Nataraja Mudaliar established South India's first film studio in Madras.[39]

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.[25]

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.[40]

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.[41] 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.

Talkies (1930s–mid-1940s)[edit]

Ardeshir Irani released Alam Ara, the first Indian talkie, on 14 March 1931.[35] Irani later produced the first south Indian talkie film Kalidas directed by H. M. Reddy released on 31 October 1931.[42][43]Jumai Shasthi was the first Bengali talkie. Chittor V. Nagaiah, was one of the first multilingual film actor/singer/composer/producer/directors in India. He was known as India's Paul Muni.[44][45]

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.[46]

In 1933, East India Film Company produced its first Telugu film, Savitri. Based on a stage play by Mylavaram Bala Bharathi Samajam, the film was directed by C. Pullaiah with stage actors Vemuri Gaggaiah and Dasari Ramathilakam.[47] The film received an honorary diploma at the 2nd Venice International Film Festival.[48]

In 1935, on 10 March 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.[49] 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.[35] 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.[50] directed by an Assamese film maker Pramathesh Baruah. In 1937, Kisan Kanya directed by Moti B was released, the first colour film made in India.[51] 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.[52]

Swamikannu Vincent, who had built the first cinema of South India in Coimbatore, introduced the concept of "Tent Cinema" in which a tent was erected on a stretch of open land to screen films. The first of its kind was in Madras, called Edison's Grand Cinemamegaphone. This was due to the fact that electric carbons were used for motion picture projectors.[53]Bombay Talkies opened in 1934 and Prabhat Studios in Pune began production of Marathi films meant.[50] R. S. D. Choudhury produced Wrath (1930), which was banned by the British Raj for its depiction of Indian actors as leaders during the Indian independence movement.[35]Sant Tukaram, a 1936 film based on the life of Tukaram (1608–50), a Varkari Sant and spiritual poet became the first Indian film to be screened at an international film festival, at the 1937 edition of the Venice Film Festival. The film was judged one of the three best films of the year.[54] In 1938, Gudavalli Ramabrahmam, co-produced and directed the social problem film, Raithu Bidda, which was also banned by the British administration, for depicting the peasant uprising among the Zamindars during the British raj.[55][56]

The Indian Masala film—a term used for mixed-genre films that combined song, dance, romance etc.—arose following World War II.[50] 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.[50] The partition of India following independence divided the nation's assets and a number of studios moved to Pakistan.[50] Partition became an enduring film subject thereafter.[50]

After Indian independence the film industry was investigated by the S. K. Patil Commission.[57] Patil recommended setting up a Film Finance Corporation (FFC) under the Ministry of Finance.[58] This advice was adopted in 1960 and FFC provide financial support to filmmakers.[58] 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.[59]

The Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), an art movement with a communist inclination, began to take shape through the 1940s and the 1950s.[57] Realist IPTA plays, such as Nabanna (1944, Bijon Bhattacharya) prepared the ground for realism in Indian cinema, exemplified by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas's Dharti Ke Lal (Children of the Earth) in 1946.[57] The IPTA movement continued to emphasize realism and went on to produce Mother India and Pyaasa, among India's most recognizable cinematic productions.[60]

Golden Age (late 1940s–1960s)[edit]

The period from the late 1940s to the early 1960s is regarded by film historians as the Golden Age of Indian cinema.[61][62][63]

This period saw the emergence of the Parallel Cinema movement, mainly led by Bengalis,[70] which then accounted for a quarter of India's film output.[71] The movement emphasized social realism. Early examples include Dharti Ke Lal (1946, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas),[72]Neecha Nagar (1946, Chetan Anand),[73]Nagarik (1952, Ritwik Ghatak)[74][75] and Do Bigha Zamin (1953, Bimal Roy), laying the foundations for Indian neorealism[76] and the Indian New Wave.[77]

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.[78] 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".[79]

Cinematographer Subrata Mitra, who debuted in the trilogy, had his own important influence on cinematography globally. 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 trilogy.[80] Ray pioneered other effects such as the photo-negativeflashbacks and X-raydigressions in Pratidwandi (1972).[81]

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.[58]

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.[70]

Epic filmMother India (1957, Mehboob Khan), a remake of his earlier Aurat (1940), was the first Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[82]Mother India defined the conventions of Hindi cinema for decades.[83][84][85] It spawned a new genre of dacoit films.[86]Gunga Jumna (1961, Dilip Kumar) was a dacoit crime drama about two brothers on opposite sides of the law, a theme that became common in Indian films in the 1970s.[87]Madhumati (1958, Bimal Roy) popularised the theme of reincarnation in Western popular culture.[88]

Kumar (Muhammad Yusuf Khan) debuted in the 1940s and rose to fame in the 1950s and was one of the biggest Indian movie stars. He was a pioneer of method acting, predating Hollywood method actors such as Marlon Brando. Much like Brando's influence on New Hollywood actors, Kumar inspired Indian actors, including Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.[89]

Neecha Nagar won the Palme d'Or at Cannes,[73] putting Indian films in competition for the Palme d'Or for nearly every year in the 1950s and early 1960s, with many winning major prizes. Ray won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for Aparajito (1956) and the Golden Bear and two Silver Bears for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival.[90] The films of screenwriter Khwaja Ahmad Abbas were nominated for the Palme d'Or three times. (Neecha Nagar won, with nominations for Awaara and Pardesi (1957)).

Ray's contemporaries Ghatak and Dutt were overlooked in their own lifetimes, but generated international recognition in the 1980s and 1990s.[90][91] Ray is regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of 20th century cinema,[92] with Dutt[93] and Ghatak.[94] In 1992, the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll ranked Ray at No. 7 in its list of "Top 10 Directors" of all time,[95] while Dutt ranked No. 73 in the 2002 Sight & Sound poll.[93]

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),[96]Jalsaghar (ranked No. 27 in 1992), Charulata (ranked No. 41 in 1992)[97] and Aranyer Din Ratri (ranked No. 81 in 1982).[98] 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.[99] 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).[94]

South Indian cinema saw the production works based on the epic Mahabharata, such as Mayabazar (listed by IBN Live's 2013 Poll as the greatest Indian film of all time).[100]Sivaji Ganesan became India's first actor to receive an international award when he won the "Best Actor" award at the Afro-Asian film festival in 1960 and was awarded the title of Chevalier in the Legion of Honour by the French Government in 1995.[101] Tamil cinema is influenced by Dravidian politics,[102] with prominent film personalities C N Annadurai, M G Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa becoming Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu.[103]

Contemporary Indian cinema (1970s–present)[edit]

Realistic Parallel Cinema continued throughout the 1970s,[104] 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.[105]

Hindi commercial cinema continued with films such as Aradhana (1969), Sachaa Jhutha (1970), Haathi Mere Saathi (1971), Anand (1971), Kati Patang (1971) Amar Prem (1972), Dushman (1972) and Daag (1973).


Main article: Salim-Javed

By the early 1970s, Hindi cinema was experiencing thematic stagnation,[108] dominated by musical romance films.[109] The arrival of screenwriter duo Salim-Javed, consisting of Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar, revitalized the industry.[108] They established the genre of gritty, violent, Bombay underworldcrime films, with films such as Zanjeer (1973) and Deewaar (1975).[110][111] They reinterpreted the rural themes of Mother India and Gunga Jumna in an urban context reflecting 1970s India,[108][112] channeling the growing discontent and disillusionment among the masses,[108] unprecedented growth of slums[113] and urban poverty, corruption and crime,[114] as well as anti-establishment themes.[115] This resulted in their creation of the "angry young man", personified by Amitabh Bachchan,[115] who reinterpreted Kumar's performance in Gunga Jumna,[108][112] and gave a voice to the urban poor.[113]

By the mid-1970s, crime-action films like Zanjeer and Sholay (1975) solidified Bachchan's position as a lead actor.[105] The devotional classic Jai Santoshi Ma (1975) was made on a shoe-string budget and became a box office success and a cult classic.[105] Another important film was Deewar (1975,Yash Chopra).[87] 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".[116]

"Bollywood" was named in the 70s,[117][118] when the conventions of commercial Bollywood films were established.[119] Key to this was Nasir Hussain and Salim-Javed's creation of the masala film genre, which combines elements of action, comedy, romance, drama, melodrama and musical.[120][119] Another Hussain/Salim-Javed concoction, Yaadon Ki Baarat (1973), was identified as the first masala film and the "first" quintessentially "Bollywood" film.[121][119] Salim-Javed wrote more successful masala films in the 1970s and 1980s.[119] Masala films made Bachchan the biggest Bollywood movie star of the period. Another landmark was Amar Akbar Anthony (1977, Manmohan Desai).[122][121] Desai further expanded the genre in the 1970s and 1980s.

Salim-Javed was 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$42,000 in 2017) each, for films such as Zanjeer, Yaadon Ki Baarat and Don.[123] Several of these remakes became breakthroughs for Rajinikanth, who portrayed Bachchan's role for several Tamil remakes.[109][124]

South Indian industries[edit]

Kannada film Samskara (1970, Pattabhirama Reddy), pioneered the parallel cinema movement in south Indian cinema. The film won Bronze Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival.[125]

Telugu film Sankarabharanam (1980) dealt with the revival of Indian classical music and won the Prize of the Public at the 1981 Besancon Film Festival.[126]

Tamil-language films appeared at multiple film festivals. Kannathil Muthamittal (Ratnam), Veyyil (Vasanthabalan) and Paruthiveeran. Kanchivaram (2009, Ameer Sultan) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Tamil films were submitted by India for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language on eight occasions.[127]Nayagan (1987, Kamal Hassan) was included in Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies list.[128] In 1991, Marupakkam directed by K.S. Sethu Madhavan, became the first Tamil film to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film, the feat was repeated by Kanchivaram in 2007.[129]

Malayalam cinema experienced its own Golden Age in the 1980s and early 1990s. Acclaimed Malayalam filmmakers industry, included Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan, T. V. Chandran and Shaji N. Karun.[130] Gopalakrishnan, is often considered to be Ray's spiritual heir.[131] He 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.[132] 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 event.[133] Commercial Malayalam cinema began gaining popularity with the action films of Jayan, a popular stunt actor who died while filming a helicopter stunt.

Contemporary Bollywood[edit]

Commercial Hindi cinema grew throughout the 1980s and the 1990s with the release of films such as Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981), Himmatwala (1983), Tohfa (1984), Nagina (1986), Mr India (1987), Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Tezaab (1988), Chaalbaaz (1989), Chandni (1989), Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Lamhe (1991), Baazigar (1993), Darr (1993),[105]Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya (1998) and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). Cult classic Bandit Queen (1994, Shekhar Kapur) received international recognition and controversy.[134][135]

In the late 1990s, Parallel Cinema began a resurgence in Hindi cinema, largely due to the critical and commercial success of crime filmSatya (1998, Ram Gopal Varma). The film's success launched a genre known as Mumbai noir,[136] urban films reflecting social problems there.[137]

Since the 1990s, the three biggest Bollywood movie stars have been the "Three Khans": Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Salman Khan.[138][139] Combined, they starred in the top ten highest-grossing Bollywood films. The three Khans have had successful careers since the late 1980s,[138] and have dominated the Indian box office since the 1990s.[140][141] Shah Rukh Khan was the most successful for most of the 1990s and 2000s, while Aamir Khan has been the most successful since the late 2000s;[142] according to Forbes, Aamir Khan is "arguably the world's biggest movie star" as of 2017, due to his immense popularity in India and China.[143].

Sridevi, is widely considered as the first female superstar of Indian cinema due to her pan-Indian appeal and a rare actor who had an equally successful career in the three 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). Other Hindi stars include Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit and Kajol. Haider (2014, Vishal Bhardwaj), the third instalment of the Indian Shakespearean Trilogy after Maqbool (2003) and Omkara (2006),[144] won the People's Choice Award at the 9th Rome Film Festival in the Mondo Genere category making it the first Indian film to achieve this honor.[145]

Global discourse[edit]

During colonial rule Indians bought film equipment from Europe.[40] The British funded wartime propaganda films during World War II, some of which showed the Indian army pitted against the Axis powers, specifically the Empire of Japan, which had managed to infiltrate India.[146] One such story was Burma Rani, which depicted civilian resistance to Japanese occupation by British and Indian forces in Myanmar.[146] Pre-independence businessmen such as J. F. Madan and Abdulally Esoofally traded in global cinema.[35]

Early Indian films made early inroads into the Soviet Union, Middle East, Southeast Asia[147] and China. Mainstream Indian movie stars gained international fame across Asia[148][149][150] and Eastern Europe.[151][152] For example, Indian films were more popular in the Soviet Union than Hollywood films[153][154] and occasionally domestic Soviet films.[155] From 1954 to 1991, 206 Indian films were sent to the Soviet Union, drawing higher average audience figures than domestic Soviet productions,[154][156] Films such as Awaara and Disco Dancer drew more than 60 million viewers.[157][158] Films such as Awaara, 3 Idiots and Dangal,[159][160] were one of the 20 highest-grossing films in China.[161]

Indian films frequently appeared in international fora and film festivals.[147] This allowed Parallel Bengali filmmakers to achieve worldwide fame.[162]

Tamil films gained viewers in South East Asia and other parts of the world. Chandralekha and Muthu were dubbed into Japanese[163] and grossed a record $1.6 million in 1998.[164] In 2010, Enthiran grossed a record $4 million in North America.

Many Asian and South Asian countries increasingly found Indian cinema as more suited to their sensibilities than Western cinema.[147] Jigna Desai holds that by the 21st century, Indian cinema had become 'deterritorialized', spreading to parts of the world where Indian expatriatres were present in significant numbers, and had become an alternative to other international cinema.[165]

Indian cinema more recently began influencing Western musical films, and played a particularly instrumental role in the revival of the genre in the Western world. Ray's work had a worldwide impact, with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese,[166]James Ivory


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