Indian Film Industry- The Reel Deal
Indian film industry is the most prolific one in terms of number of films produced annually, genre and languages. The Indian cinematic experience has many flavors associated to it, the more large scale ones being linguistic in nature. There are movies influenced by various cultures like Assamese, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali and Oriya to name a few. The patrons of Indian cinema are universally located both in and out of the country with special reference to expatriates in South-east Asia, the UK and the USA besides the Middle East.
Foreign Direct Investment In The Film Industry
The Indian film industry has emerged as a large scale globally recognized enterprise laying claims to the highest annual film output in the world, marketed in over 90 countries. In 2009, 2961 films were produced of which a whooping 1288 were feature films. Opening the industry to foreign direct investment by giants like 20th Century FOX, Disney, Warner Bros and Sony Pictures in addition to Indian companies like ZEE and Adlabs has played significant role in shaping up the face of Indian cinema as perceived by audiences around the world. Revenues generated from films aired outside of India constitute 12% of the total per film contributing significantly to the overall earnings of the Indian film industry. These earnings are often used to better the technologies used to film the movies and marketing them later on in more ways and on a larger scale.
The birth and evolution of an idea
It started with Lumiere movies, London making their appearance in Mumbai in 1895. By 1898, Hiralal Sen had released the first Indian short film- The Flower of Persia. Raja Harishchandra (1913) in Marathi, by Dadasaheb Phalke was India’s first silent movie.
The early 1900s saw the concept of cinema gain stupendous popularity across the country and with tickets available at affordable prices, India watched more movies than ever. Alam Ara, released by Ardeshir Irani in March, 1931 is known to be the first talking Indian film.
Studios mushroomed around the country and ushered in the golden era from 1940s to 1960s when the industry expanded rapidly and young producers and directors bubbling with new ideas decided to try their hand at film making, churning out classics like Pyaasa and Kaagaz ke Phool by Guru Datt and Raj Kapoor films’ Awaara and Shree 420 in addition to other movies like Mother India and V. Shantaram’s Do Aankhen Barah Haath. The Indian cinema during this time was given its due at various international film awards.
The concept of parallel cinema that took hold in the 1940s with films like Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar is the defining feature of the modern Indian film industry. In addition to yesteryears’ stalwarts like Satyajit Ray, Chetan Anand; Shyam Benegal is one of the leading figures in this genre of movies. At present, the Indian Film Industry is equally receptive to commercial films with a realistic story line and well researched ones based on true stories.
Light hearted comedies as well as culturally inclined movies tend to go down well with the audience. Bilingual movies like Slumdog Millionaire and Kites have received critical acclaim, the former getting nominated to the Academy Awards under no less than ten categories and bagging eight of them.
The future- through the looking glass
As more techniques of filming are discovered and tested, there is little chance of stagnation in the Indian film industry. On the other hand, there might be problems regarding the plots and basic story lines as the Indian audiences have grown more demanding over the years, being exposed to films from various genres and industries.
However, knowing the creative genius as proven by the film industry since its origin right through the years to the present day, there is little need for worry as the reel is in safe hands.