100 Years of Indian Cinema

Both for quantitative as well as qualitative reasons, 100 Years of Indian Cinema has expanded the meaning of the greatest sagas of creative forms. India, for whom cross-cultures flow into many mingling streams – the structure of Indian literature, history illuminated immense gifts for the narrators and directors of films. The rich development, bequeathed by the makers of Indian Cinema has presented to millions and millions, almost perennial mirth and entertainment. Among the woe-smitten intellectuals, the inheritances of Indian Cinema have offered to them tumultuous joy, when films have opted to deal with complex social issues.

It is notable to mention that Indian Cinema, today, is recognized on the global level; in many ways, Indian Cinema was sufficiently advanced to gain respect, internationally – thanks to personalities like Indian directors like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mani Ratnam and many others. Around 1909, Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu, who was an Indian artist and a pioneer in the production of silent Indian films and talkies, travelled much to various regions of Asia to promote films. Before Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu, the first short films were directed by Hiralal Sen, starting with The Flower of Persia in 1898.

In 1913, a full-length motion film in India was produced by the scholar, pioneer, Dadasaheb Phalke. The film’s origin came from the epic of Raja Harishchandra. As we know, the female roles in the earlier years were played by male actors.

At this point, it is important to mention that the advent of the Lumière moving pictures in London Cinema in the year 1895, played an influencing role for Indian Cinema to get started. Lumière was already popular across Europe, and by July 1896, Lumière films had been shown in Bombay (Mumbai).

The first Indian talking film, Alam Ara was released in 1931 by Ardeshir Israni. This was followed by Bhakta Prahlada in Telugu, and Kalidas in Tamil. As the sound technology advanced – music studios, music composers, theatres began to thrive. Certain choiced actors made decent income out of the full time vocation of acting. 100 Years of Indian Cinema has come a long way…

Did You Know?

  • India is the world’s largest producer of films. In 2009, India produced a total of 2961 films, which included an ascending figure of 1288 feature films.

  • The provision of 100% foreign direct investment has turned into an attractive film market for India. Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, UTV, 20th Century Fox are participating in producing and distributing films.

  • Satyajit Ray won the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival for Aparajito in 1956.

  • Ritwik Ghatak and Guru Dutt received international recognition, after they passed away. Recognition came to them, later in the 1980s and 1990s.

  • Three Indian films: Mehboob Khan’s ‘Mother India’, Mira Nair’s ‘Salam Bombay’, and Amir Khan’s ‘Lagaan’, got to the final round of Oscar nominations.

  • Some of the most acclaimed filmmakers in the 1980s and early 1990s originated from the Malayalam industry. They are Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji N. Karun. Adoor Gopalakrishnan won in 1981 the Sutherland Trophy at London for Elippathayam. Shaji N. Karun’s debut film Piravi in 1989 won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • After the success of Satya in 1998, (directed by Ram Gopal Verma) an exclusive genre was born – known as Mumbai Noir. Films belonging to the Mumbai Noir genre include Madhur Bhandarkar’s Chandni Bar (2001) and Traffic Signal (2007), Ram Gopal Verma’s Company (2002), Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday (2004), Irfan Kamal’s Thanks Maa (2009).

  • Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Shekhar Kapur, Karan Johar have also found success overseas. Other mainstream Hindi filmmakers of earlier years were Chetan Anand, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Mehboob Khan, Bimal Roy, K. Asif, Kamal Amrohi and Vijay Bhatt.

  • Films like Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Baiju Bawra, Awaara, Mughal-e-Azam, Do Bigha Zameen were all-time-hits.

  • From time to time, ‘Art’ Films have brought the cinematic culture of India’s various States. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat have found strong bases. Other Indian states are following the same track.

  • Art film directors who have left their stamp include Aparna Sen and Rituparno in Bengali Cinema, Nirad Mohapatra in Oriya Cinema, Nandita Das, Nagesh Kukunoor, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal in Hindi Cinema. Actually, the list is vast…

  • Mani Ratnam’s film Nayagan (1987) (Tamil), starring Kamal Hassan, was included in Time magazine’s “ALL-TIME” 100 best movies.

  • Indians like Bhanu Athaiya (best costume design for Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi' in 1982), Satyajit Ray (honorary oscar for lifetime achievement in 1992), AR Rahman (two Oscars for best original score and best original song 'Jai ho' for 'Slumdog Millionaire' in 2009), Gulzar (best original song 'Jai ho' for 'Slumdog Millionaire' in 2009 with Rahman) and Resul Pookutty (best sound mixing for 'Slumdog Millionaire' in 2009) did made India proud by winning individual awards at the prestigious ceremony.

  • The latest trend of comedy-films like Vicky Donor, Ferrari Ki Sawaari are turning into successful themes.

  • After the worldwide recognition and Academy Award selection in 2011, Hindi film, DAM999, the debut direction venture of Sohan Roy, enjoys the double pleasure of being selected to Golden Rooster Awards. DAM999, the most controversial movie of the year 2011, was selected under the categories of ‘Best Picture’, ‘Original Score’ and ‘Original Soundtrack’ for Oscars.

  • Starring Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor the Hindi film, Barfi! has been selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars in the foreign language film category.

Long live Indian Cinema! Long live the audience!

Geeta Chhabra

Geeta Chhabra Comment Form
Form a link. Comment inside the box below. Your views will be published in a coming edition.