BollywoodIndian moviemaking industry that began in Bombay (now Mumbai) in the 1930s anddeveloped into an enormous film empire. Bombay Talkies, launched in 1934 by HimansuRai, spearheaded the growth of Indian cinema. Throughout the years, several classicgenres emerged from Bollywood: the historical epic, notably Mughal-e-azam (1960; "TheGreat Mughal"); the curry western, such as Sholay (1975; "The Embers"); the courtesanfilm, such as Pakeezah (1972; "Pure Heart"), which highlights stunning cinematographyand sensual dance choreography; and the mythological movie, represented by JaiSantoshi Maa (1975; "Hail Santoshi Maa"). Star actors, rather than the films themselves,have accounted for most box-office success. Standard features of Bollywood filmsinclude formulaic story lines, expertly choreographed fight scenes, spectacular song-and-dance routines, emotion-charged melodrama, and larger-than-life heroes. At thebeginning of the 21st century, Bollywood produced as many as 1,000 feature filmsannually, and international audiences began to develop among Asians in the U.K. and theU.S.Bollywood (Hindi: बॉलीवुड, Urdu: )بالی وڈis the informal name given to the popularMumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India. The term is often incorrectly usedto refer to the whole of Indian cinema. Bollywood is only a part of the Indian filmindustry.The name is a portmanteau of Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood,the center of the American film industry. Though some deplore the name, arguing that itmakes the industry look like a poor cousin to Hollywood, it seems likely to persist andnow has its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.Bollywood is commonly referred to as Hindi cinema, even though Hindustani, thesubstratum common to both Hindi and Urdu, might be more accurate. Bollywood consistsof the languages of Hindi, Urdu and English. The use of poetic Urdu words is fairlycommon. The connection between Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani is an extremelycontentious matter.There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It isnot uncommon to see films that feature dialogue with English words and phrases, evenwhole sentences. There is a growing number of English films. A few films are also madein two or even three languages (either using subtitles, or several soundtracks).
Genre conventionsTypical Bollywood Movie Poster in the 1950sBollywood films are generally musicals, and are expected to contain catchy music in theform of song-and-dance numbers woven into the script. A films success often dependson the quality of such musical numbers. Indeed, a films music is often released beforethe movie itself and helps increase the audience.Indian audiences expect full value for their money, with a good entertainer generallyreferred to as paisa vasool, (literally, "moneys worth"). Songs and dances, love triangles,comedy and dare-devil thrills — all are mixed up in a three-hour-long extravaganza withan intermission. Such movies are called masala films, after the Hindustani word for aspice mixture, masala. Like masalas, these movies are a mixture of many things.Bollywood plots have tended to be melodramatic. They frequently employ formulaicingredients such as star-crossed lovers and angry parents, love triangles, family ties,sacrifice, corrupt politicians, kidnappers, conniving villains, courtesans with hearts ofgold, long-lost relatives and siblings separated by fate, dramatic reversals of fortune, andconvenient coincidences.There have always been Indian films with more artistic aims and more sophisticatedstories, both inside and outside the Bollywood tradition (see Art cinema in India). Theyoften lost out at the box office to movies with more mass appeal. Bollywood conventionsare changing, however. A large Indian diaspora in English speaking countries, andincreased Western influence at home, have nudged Bollywood films closer to Hollywoodmodels. Film kisses are no longer banned. Plots now tend to feature Westernisedurbanites dating and dancing in discos rather than arranged marriages.
Film critic Lata Khubchandani writes,"..our earliest films...[had] liberal doses of sex andkissing scenes in them. Strangely, it was after Independence the censor board came intobeing and so did all the strictures."Bollywood song and danceSongs in Bollywood are sung by professional playback singers, rather than actors, wholip-sync the lyrics. Pictured here is Mukesh, a famed playback singer.Bollywood film music is called filmi music (from Hindi, meaning "of films").Songs from Bollywood movies are generally pre-recorded by professional playbacksingers, with the actors then lip synching the words to the song on-screen, often whiledancing. While most actors, especially today, are excellent dancers, few are also singers.One notable exception was Kishore Kumar, who starred in several major films in the1950s while also having a stellar career as a playback singer. K. L. Saigal, Suraiyya, andNoor Jehan were also known as both singers and actors. Some actors in the last thirtyyears have sung one or more songs themselves; for a list, see Singing actors and actressesin Indian cinema.Going by the quality as well as the quantity of the songs they rendered, most notablesingers of Bollywood are Suraiyya, Noor Jehan, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, GeetaDutt, Shamshad Begum, Alka Yagnik, etc among female playback singers and K. L.Saigal, Talat Mahmood, Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar, KishoreKumar, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam among male playback singers.Mohammed Rafi is often considered the arguably finest of the singers that sung forBollywood, followed by Lata Mangeshkar, who, through the course of a career spanningover six decades, has recorded thousands of songs for Indian movies. The composers offilm music, known as music directors, are also well-known. Their songs can make orbreak a film and usually do. Remixing of filmi songs with modern beats and rhythms is acommon occurrence today, and producers may even release remixed versions of some oftheir films songs along with the films regular soundtrack albums.The dancing in Bollywood films, especially older ones, is primarily modelled on Indiandance: classical dance styles, dances of historic northern Indian courtesans (tawaif), orfolk dances. In modern films, Indian dance elements often blend with Western dancestyles (as seen on MTV or in Broadway musicals), though it is not unusual to seeWestern pop and pure classical dance numbers side by side in the same film. The hero orheroine will often perform with a troupe of supporting dancers. Many song-and-danceroutines in Indian films feature unrealistically instantaneous shifts of location and/orchanges of costume between verses of a song. If the hero and heroine dance and sing apas-de-deux (a dance and ballet term, meaning "dance of two"), it is often staged in
beautiful natural surroundings or architecturally grand settings. This staging is referred toas a "picturisation".Songs typically comment on the action taking place in the movie, in several ways.Sometimes, a song is worked into the plot, so that a character has a reason to sing; othertimes, a song is an externalisation of a characters thoughts, or presages an event that hasnot occurred yet in the plot of the movie. In this case, the event is almost always twocharacters falling in love.Bollywood films have always used what are now called "item numbers". A physicallyattractive female character (the "item girl"), often completely unrelated to the main castand plot of the film, performs a catchy song and dance number in the film. In older films,the "item number" may be performed by a courtesan (tawaif) dancing for a rich client oras part of a cabaret show. The dancer Helen was famous for her cabaret numbers. Inmodern films, item numbers may be inserted as discotheque sequences, dancing atcelebrations, or as stage shows.For the last few decades Bollywood producers have been releasing the films soundtrack,as tapes or CDs, before the main movie release, hoping that the music will pull audiencesinto the cinema later. Oftentimes the soundtrack is more popular than the movie. In thelast few years some producers have also been releasing music videos, usually featuring asong from the film. However, some promotional videos feature a song which is notincluded in the movie.Dialogues and lyrics Main article: Bollywood songsThe film script or lines of dialogue (called "dialogues" in Indian English) and the songlyrics are often written by different people.Dialogues are usually written in an unadorned Hindi or Hindustani that would beunderstood by the largest possible audience. Some movies, however, have used regionaldialects to evoke a village setting, or old-fashioned courtly Urdu in Mughal-era historicalfilms. Contemporary mainstream movies also make great use of English. In fact, manymovie scripts are first written in English, and then translated into Hindi.Cinematic language, whether in dialogues or lyrics, is often melodramatic and invokesGod, family, mother, duty, and self-sacrifice liberally.Music directors often prefer working with certain lyricists, to the point that the lyricistand composer are seen as a team. This phenomenon is not unlike the pairings ofAmerican composers and songwriters that created old-time Broadway musicals (e.g.,Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, or Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe).Song lyrics are usually about love. Bollywood song lyrics, especially in the old movies,
frequently use Arabo-Persic Urdu vocabulary. Heres a sample from the 1983 film Hero,written by the lyricist Anand Bakshi: Bichhdey abhi to hum, bas kal parso, jiyoongi main kaisey, is haal mein barson? Maut na aayi, teri yaad kyon aayi, Haaye, lambi judaayi! Hindi: "िबछड़े अभी तो हम, बस कल परसो," "िजियूँगी मै कै से, इस हाल मे बरसो?" "मौत न आई, तेरी याद कयो आई?" "हाय, लंबी जिुदाई!" Urdu: بچھڑے ابھی تو ہم، بس کل پرسوں جیوں گی میں کیسے، اس حال میں برسوں؟ موت نہ آئی، تیری یاد کیوں آئی؟ !ہاۓ، لمبی جدائی Translation: We have been separated just a day or two, How am I going to go on this way for years? Death doesnt come; why, instead, do these memories of you? Oh; this long separation!Another source for love lyrics is the long Hindu tradition of poetry about themythological amours of Krishna, Radha, and the gopis. Many lyrics compare the singerto a devotee and the object of his or her passion to Krishna or Radha.Cast and crew for further details see Indian movie actors, Indian movie actresses, Indian film directors, Indian film music directors and Indian playback singersBollywood employs people from all parts of India. It attracts thousands of aspiring actorsand actresses, all hoping for a break in the industry. Models and beauty contestants,television actors, theatre actors and even common people come to Mumbai with the hopeand dream of becoming a star. Just as in Hollywood, very few succeed.Stardom in the entertainment industry is very fickle, and Bollywood is no exception. Thepopularity of the stars can rise and fall rapidly. Directors compete to hire the mostpopular stars of the day, who are believed to guarantee the success of a movie (thoughthis belief is not always supported by box-office results). Hence many stars make themost of their fame, once they become popular, by making several movies simultaneously.Only a very few non-Indian actors are able to make a mark in Bollywood, though manyhave tried from time to time. There have been some exceptions, one recent example is thehit film Rang de Basanti, where the lead actress is an Englishwoman. Kisna, Lagaan, andThe Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey also featured foreign actors.
Bollywood can be very clannish, and the relatives of film-industry insiders have an edgein getting coveted roles in films and/or being part of a films crew. However, industryconnections are no guarantee of a long career: competition is brutal and if film industryscions do not succeed at the box office, their careers will falter. Some of the biggest stars,such as Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan have succeeded despite total lack of showbusiness connections. For film clans, see List of Bollywood film clans.FinancesBollywood films are multi-million dollar productions, with the most expensiveproductions costing up to $10 million. More ambitious projects are reportedly planned,the most expensive of which is an epic film Mahabharata, by Ravi Chopra, estimated tocost up to $30 million and will start rolling in 2008. Sets, costumes, special effects, andcinematography were less than world-class up until the mid-to-late 1990s, although withsome notable exceptions. As Western films and television gain wider distribution in Indiaitself, there is increasing pressure for Bollywood films to attain the same productionlevels. In particular, in areas such as action and special effects. Recent Bollywood filmshave employed international technicians to improve in these areas, such as Krrish(2006)which has action choreographed by Hong Kong based Tony Ching. And Love Story2050(2007) has 5 international studios doing the special effects for it, including the Oscarwinning WETA. The increasing accessibility to professional action and special effects,coupled with rising film budgets, has seen an explosion in the action and sci-fi genres.Sequences shot overseas have proved a real box office draw, so Mumbai film crews areincreasingly filming in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the UnitedStates, continental Europe and elsewhere. Nowadays, Indian producers are winning moreand more funding for big-budget films shot within India as well, such as Lagaan, Devdasand other recent films.Funding for Bollywood films often comes from private distributors and a few largestudios. Indian banks and financial institutions were forbidden from lending money tomovie studios. However, this ban has now been lifted. As finances are not regulated,some funding also comes from illegitimate sources, such as the Mumbai underworld. TheMumbai underworld has been known to be involved in the production of several films,and are notorious for their patronisation of several prominent film personalities; Onoccasion, they have known to use money and muscle power to get their way in cinematicdeals. In January, 2000, Mumbai mafia hitmen shot Rakesh Roshan, a film director andfather of star Hrithik Roshan; it had been reported that he had rebuffed mob attempts tomeddle with his film distribution. In 2001, the Central Bureau of Investigation seized allprints of the movie Chori Chori Chupke Chupke after the movie was found to be fundedby members of the Mumbai underworld.Another problem facing Bollywood is widespread copyright infringement of its films.Often, bootleg DVD copies of movies are available before the prints are officiallyreleased in cinemas. Manufacturing of bootleg DVD, VCD, and VHS copies of the latestmovie titles is a well established small scale industry in parts of South Asia and South
East Asia. Besides catering to the homegrown market, demand for these copies is largeamongst some sections of the Indian diaspora, too. (In fact, bootleg copies are the onlyway people in Pakistan can watch Bollywood movies, since the Government of Pakistanhas banned their sale, distribution and telecast). Films are frequently broadcast withoutcompensation by countless small cable TV companies in India and other parts of SouthAsia. Small convenience stores run by members of the Indian diaspora in the U.S. and theUK regularly stock tapes and DVDs of dubious provenance, while consumer copyingadds to the problem. The availability of illegal copies of movies on the Internet alsocontributes to the piracy problem.Satellite TV, television and imported foreign films are making huge inroads into thedomestic Indian entertainment market. In the past, most Bollywood films could makemoney; now fewer tend to do so. However, most Bollywood producers make money,recouping their investments from many sources of revenue, including selling ancillaryrights. There are also increasing returns from theatres in Western countries like theUnited Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, where Bollywood is slowly gettingnoticed. As more Indians migrate to these countries, they form a growing market forupscale Indian films. Foreign audiences—in East Asian and Western countries—are alsogrowing, if more slowly .For an interesting comparison of Hollywood and Bollywood financial figures, see thischart. It shows tickets sold in 2002 and total revenue estimates. Bollywood sold 3.6billion tickets and had total revenues (theatre tickets, DVDs, television etc.) of US$1.3billion, whereas Hollywood films sold 2.6 billion tickets and generated total revenues(again from all formats) of US$51 billion.AdvertisingMany Indian artists used to make a living by hand-painting movie billboards and posters.(The well-known artist M.F. Hussain was a poster painter early in his career.) This wasbecause human labour was found to be cheaper than printing and distributing publicitymaterial. Now, a majority of the huge and ubiquitous billboards in Indias major cities arecreated with computer-printed vinyl. The old hand-painted posters, once regarded asephemera, are becoming increasingly collectible as folk art.Releasing the film music, or music videos, before the actual release of the film can alsobe considered a form of advertising. A popular tune is believed to help pull audiencesinto the theaters.Bollywood publicists have begun to use the Internet as a venue for advertising. Most ofthe better-funded film releases now have their own websites, where browsers can viewtrailers, stills, and information about the story, cast, and crew.Bollywood is also used to advertise other products. Product placement, as used inHollywood, is widely practiced in Bollywood.
Bollywood movie stars appear in print and television advertisements for other products,such as watches or soap (see Celebrity endorsement). Advertisers say that a starendorsement boosts sales.HistoryRaja Harishchandra (1913) was the first silent feature film made in India. It was made byDadasaheb Phalke. By the 1930s, the industry was producing over 200 films per annum.The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Iranis Alam Ara (1931), was a super hit. There wasclearly a huge market for talkies and musicals; Bollywood and all the regional filmindustries quickly switched to sound filming.The 1930s and 1940s were tumultuous times: India was buffeted by the GreatDepression, World War II, the Indian independence movement, and the violence of thePartition. Most Bollywood films were unabashedly escapist, but there were also a numberof filmmakers who tackled tough social issues, or used the struggle for Indianindependence as a backdrop for their plots.In the late 1950s, Bollywood released its first color films; however, the majority of filmscontinued to be black-and-white until the mid-1960s. At this time, lavish romanticmusicals and melodramas were the staple fare at the cinema. Successful actors includedDev Anand, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor and actresses like Nargis, Meena Kumari,Nutan and Madhubala. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, romance movies and actionfilms starred actors like Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra. In the mid-1970s, romanticconfections made way for gritty, violent films about gangsters and bandits. AmitabhBachchan, the star known for his "angry young man" roles, rode the crest of this trendwith actors like Mithun Chakraborty and Anil Kapoor, which lasted into the early 1990s.Actresses from this era included Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan and Rekha.In the mid-1990s, the pendulum swung back towards family-centric romantic musicalswith the success of such films as Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) and Dilwale DulhaniaLe Jayenge (1995) making stars out of a new generation of actors (such as Aamir Khan,Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan) and actresses (such as Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit,Karisma Kapoor and Kajol). In that point of time, action and comedy films were alsogoing strong with actors like Govinda and Akshay Kumar and actresses such as RaveenaTandon and Karisma Kapoor. This decade marked an entry of new performers in the artcinema area, some of which were succesful at the box-office as well, with new criticallyacclaimed performanes by actors of this generation (Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan,Manisha Koirala, Tabu and Urmila Matondkar).
In the 2000s, the industry faced a strong renovation from its new filmmakers. This decademeant the spreading of Bollywoods popularity in the world. The increasing popularity ofIndian cinema, often called “Bollywood Mania” by the press, was the main cause drivingIndian filmmaking to new heights in terms of quality, cinematography and innovativestory lines as well as technical quality advances, moviegoers come in ever increasingnumbers to watch the latest movies arriving from Indias largest city. Big productionhouses, among them veteran ones like Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions were theproducers of new modern films. The opening up of the overseas market, the moreBollywood releases abroad and the explosion of multiplexes in big cities, led to thegrowth of national and international hits like Devdas, Koi... Mil Gaya, Kal Ho Naa Ho,Veer-Zaara and Dhoom 2 delivering a new generation of popular actors (Saif Ali Khan,Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan) and actresses (Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta andRani Mukerji), and keeping the popularity of actors of the previous decade.The Indian film industry has preferred films that appeal to all segments of the audience(see the discussion in Ganti, 2004, cited in references), and has resisted making films thattarget narrow audiences. It was believed that aiming for a broad spectrum wouldmaximise box office receipts. However, filmmakers may be moving towards acceptingsome box-office segmentation, between films that appeal to rural Indians, and films thatappeal to urban and overseas audiences.ControversiesAccusations of plagiarism Main article: Bollywood and plagiarismConstrained by rushed production schedules and small budgets, some Bollywood writersand musicians have been known to resort to plagiarism. They copy ideas, plot lines, tunesor riffs from sources close at hand from other Indian regional films or far away(Hollywood and other Western movies, Western pop hits). Some films (including music)in Pakistan are also inspired by Bollywood.In past times, this could be done with impunity. Copyright enforcement was lax in India.As for the Western sources, the Bollywood film industry was largely unknown toWesterners, who would not even be aware that their material was being copied.Audiences also may not have been aware of the plagiarism, since many in the Indianaudience were unfamiliar with Western films and tunes.While copyright enforcement in India is still a little hit-and-miss, Bollywood andHollywood are much more aware of each other now, and Indian audiences are morefamiliar with foreign movies and music. Flagrant plagiarism may have diminished—however, there is no general agreement that it has.
AwardsThe Filmfare Awards ceremony is one of the oldest and most prominent film eventsgiven for Hindi films in India  and is sometimes referred to as the "Indian Oscars." The Filmfare awards were first introduced in 1954, the same year as the National FilmAwards and gave awards to the best films of 1953. The ceremony was referred to as theClare Awards after the magazines editor. A dual voting system was developed in 1956. Under this system, "in contrast to the National Film Awards, which are decided by apanel appointed by Indian Government, the Filmfare Awards are voted for by both thepublic and a committee of experts." Since 1973, the Indian government has sponsored the National Film Awards (which firstbegan in 1954), awarded by the government run Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF). TheDFF screens not only Bollywood films, but films from all the other regional movieindustries and independent/art films. These awards are handed out at an annual ceremonypresided over by the President of India.Additional ceremonies held within India are: • Stardust Awards • Star Screen AwardsCeremonies held overseas are: • Bollywood Movie Awards - Long Island, New York, United States • Global Indian Film Awards - (different country each year) • IIFA Awards - (different country each year) • Zee Cine Awards- (different country each year)Most of these award ceremonies are lavishly staged spectacles, featuring singing,dancing, and lots of stars and starlets.Bollywood Training • Asian Academy Of Film & Television • Film And Television Institute Of India • Asian School Of Media Studies • Satyajit Ray Institute Of Film And Television