Society & Culture

Things You Never Knew about Indian Cinema

indian-cinemaIn 2013 the Indian cinema scene, more commonly known as Bollywood, celebrated its 100th birthday. Over the past century the quality of the films has improved dramatically as you might expect, along with the budgets, the picture quality and the bank balances of the stars.

There have been millions of films created, with thousands of early films as well as the more modern productions available to stream thanks to the Internet, with users able to watch Bollywood movies on Eros Now and other sites for users to log on to access releases that feature their favourite stars or their favourite genres.

As you might be able to imagine, there have been a fair few stars who have come from humble backgrounds to make it as huge stars in India with some even making the transition over to Hollywood; while the movies themselves have been groundbreaking in terms of the sheer amount of money they have made (or lost!)

It would take almost 100 years to talk about the past century in the life of Bollywood cinema, so here are ten facts and figures that you may not have known about that summarise just how times have changed and how Bollywood cinema has become the global superpower we know it to be in 2014.

  1. Bollywood actually overtook its American counterpart to become the world's largest film industry…in the 1970s! It was at this time that the name ‘Bollywood' was coined, connecting the Indian cinema epicentre-Bombay-with Hollywood
  2. While the first film was released in 1913, there wasn't an Indian film that featured sound until 1931 with the release of Alam Ara; while the first film shot in colour wasn't released until Kisan Kanya in 1937
  3. Baz Lurhman has publicly confessed that his hit musical Moulin Rouge was inspired by Bollywood musicals
  4. In 2011 the film Ra One became the most expensive Bollywood film ever, at a cost of $27 million
  5. It is estimated that around 14 million Indians go to the cinema each day
  6. Kylie Minogue featured in the 2009 film Blue
  7. In the first Indian film, Raja Harishchandra, male actors actually played the role of women. There were no women in the movie
  8. Salman Khan was the highest paid actor of 2013, with rumours circulating that he made a staggering £7 million for one movie
  9. On average, more than 1,000 films are released each year with the peak in 2009 when Bollywood produced 1,288 feature films
  10. Sci-fi is now the fastest growing genre in Bollywood

If you have any questions, please ask below!