The significance and reach of Bollywood…
“India is the world’s largest producer of films. In 2009, it produced a total of 1,288 feature films. By contrast Hollywood produces an average of 500 per year.
Hindi cinema is just a portion of India’s annual film production, making up about 235 films in 2009. However, it remains the single most popular and influential, in India and beyond.
Named after its birthplace, Bombay, since renamed Mumbai, Bollywood dates its first feature film to 1910. It wasn’t until the 1950s, however, when Indian films were exported to the West.
One of India’s earliest actor-film makers, Raj Kapoor, achieved huge popularity in the former Soviet Union with his 1952 film Awara (Vagabond). Emphasising the working class hero’s dignity and optimism in the face of hardship, Kapoor’s films struck a chord with first Russian, and then Eastern European audiences.
Overseas box office returns are increasingly important for Indian film makers. In 2009, UTV Motion Pictures released period-epic Jodhaa-Akbar in 26 countries, the largest Bollywood worldwide release of its time.
In the same year, an estimated 3.6 billion tickets were sold worldwide for Bollywood films, compared with 2.6 billion tickets for Hollywood movies.
Just one year later, My Name is Khan, featuring one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Shah Rukh Khan, expanded further, releasing in 45 countries, followed by a second-phase release in another 25 ‘non-traditional’ countries. It is, to date, India’s most successful film in terms of overseas revenues.
Click to play
A behind the scene glimpse of choreographer Shiamak Davar and his team of dancers as they prepare for the Indian International Film Academy Awards”