History Of Bollywood: Evolution of Indian cinema over the years…
- India’s first exposure to motion pictures was in 1896, when the Lumiere Brothers’ Chinematographe unveiled six soundless short films at Watson Hotel, Esplanade Mansion, Bombay on July 7.
- First exposing of celluloid in camera by an Indian and its consequent screening took place in 1899, when portrait photographer Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatvadekar shot two short films and exhibited them under Edison’s projecting kinetoscope.
- Bollywood Arrives: Father of Indian Cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke, released his pathbreaking film (and India’s first full-length feature film) of the Silent Era, ‘Raja Harishchandra’ in 1913
- India’s first ‘talking and singing’ film – Alam Ara made by Ardeshir Irani and screened in Bombay in 1931.
- By the late 1940s, the film industry had made rapid strides in the South, films were being made in various Indian languages with religion being the dominant theme.
- Films in the 1950s had themes focusing on social issues relevant at the time.
- The first International Film Festival of India held in early 1952 at Bombay had great impact of Indian Cinema.
- 1955 saw the arrival of Satyajit Ray and his classic Pather Panchali opened up Indian films to the World Film Scene.
- 1950s and 1960s (known as the Golden Age) that produced some of India’s most critically acclaimed films and memorable actors of all time – Guru Dutt, Mehboob Khan, Raj Kapoor, Balraj Sahani, Nargis, Bimal Roy, Meena Kumari, Madhubala and Dilip Kumar.
- K Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam, released in 1960, kick-started a trail of romantic movies all over India. Those associated with Indian art cinema were also recognized. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Ritwik Ghatak, Aravindan, Satyajit Ray, Shaji Karun and several other art film directors were making movies that took India to international fame and glory.
- Enter 1970s, and the movies made were the quintessential ‘Bollywood entertainers’ as we know them today. Audiences were enthralled by the histrionics of Bollywood’s first superstar – ‘Rajesh Khanna’.
- Ramesh Sippy released Sholay in 1975 (one of the biggest hits), and the superstar status shifted to Amitabh Bachchan. Big B’s portrayal of the angry young man in several movies touched a cord with the audiences, who were unhappy with corruption and unemployment in the country.
- 1980s saw the rise of several woman directors such as Aparna Sen, Prema Karnath and Meera Nair. It was also the decade when Rekha won the national award for her stunning performance in Umrao Jaan (1981). Surprisingly, the quality of songs in movies took a backseat in this decade with most movies dishing out average fare when it came to songs.
- 1990s saw a ushered in a mixed genre of romantic films, thrillers, action movies and comedy films. Dolby digital sound effects, advanced special effects, were introduced. Investments from the corporate sector started coming. Brand Shah Rukh Khan & Rajnikanth started becoming bigger.
- 2000s saw the industry reaching out to international audiences, and Indian cinema finally started getting global mass appeal. Films were screened at major international film festivals, overseas market contribution increased considerably. Major global studios such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros started investing in Bollywood movies.
- By 2003, as many as 30 film production companies had been listed on the National Stock Exchange.
2010s: Bollywood continues to grow bigger. Several Indian actors (and AR Rahman) working in Hollywood. The big blockbusters now easily manage to gross more than 200 crores. Bollywood focuses on merchandising.
Indian Film Industry has definitely come a long way and is growing by leaps & bounds in recent times.