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Home » Bollywood » History

History of Bollywood


Cinema dawned in India at the turn of the century just as the country was poised for major social and political reforms. The year 1896, was the first exposure to motion pictures with 6 soundless short films in Bombay on the 7th of July at the Watson Hotel at Esplanade Mansion. The first exposure by camera took place in 1899 by Harishchandra Bhatvadekar.

Two other Indian pioneers, Hiralal Sen and F.B. Thanawalla also engaged in short film productions in 1900 in Calcutta and Bombay. Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, known as Dada Saheb Phalke started the birth of the Indian film industry with the film 'Raja Harishchandra. It was released on May 3rd in 1913 at the Coronation Cinema in Bombay.

After the 1920's the Indian made regular appearances in the film industry.

By 1931 sound films replaced the silent films. 'Alam Ara' was produced by Ardershir Irani and released on March 14 at the Majestic Cinema in Bombay.

The first International Film Festival of India was held at Bombay in 1952 which had a great impact on Indian Cinema. The 60's brought the transition to colour and a complete change to the industry. The release of K.Asifs 'Mughal-E-Azam' was a record box office hit.

The seventies continued with successful films including Raj Kapoor's film 'Bobby' and Devar's 'Haathi Mere Saathi'.

The late eighties and early nineties saw the revival of the musical love stories in Hindi cinema. Popular films included 'Mr India', 'Maine Pyar Kiya', and 'Chandni'. Good movies were produced by Shyam Benegal which included 'Manthan', 'Janoon' and 'Trikal'.

The nineties witnessed the release of some quality films. The Indian film industry has continued for almost nine decades. It has become a multi winged empire and has yielded about 27,000 feature films and thousands of documented short films.

The 21st Century has brought greater collaboration with major Hollywood studios, the two movie heavyweights are now sharing techniques, studios and finance.

India's "Bollywood" industry, as it has come to be known, currently holds the record as being the worlds largest film producer.

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