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Bollywood - A brief history

Bollywood is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi language film industry in India. This word is generated by fusing two words Bombay(now Mumbai) and Hollywood, making it look like a poor cousin to Hollywood. However Bollywood has outgrown and attained its own identity in the film world.

Bollywood is also commonly referred to as "Hindi cinema", even though use of poetic Urdu words is fairly common. (Linguists would call both Hindi and Urdu variants of Hindustani. This is a political debate; see the articles on the various languages/dialects.) There has been a growing presence of English in dialogues and songs as well. It is not uncommon to see movies which feature dialogues with English words and phrases, even whole sentences. A few movies are also made in two or even three languages (either using subtitles, or several soundtracks).

Bollywood actress Shilpa ShettyMost Bollywood films consists generally musicals, and are expected to contain catchy music in the form of song-and-dance numbers woven into the script. Quality Music is important for film's success in Bollywood and a film's music is often released before the movie itself and helps increase the audience.

Songs and dances, love triangles, comedy and dare-devil thrills — all are mixed up in a typical three-hour-long Bollywood movie. Such movies are called masala films, after the Hindustani word for a spice mixture, masala. Like masalas, these movies are a mixture of many things. Indian audiences expect full value for their money, with a good entertainer generally referred to as paisa vasool, (literally, "money's worth").

The first indigenous silent feature film was Raja Harishchandra, released in 1913 and directed by Dadasaheb Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, who is considered the father of Indian cinema. The movie industry was well established by 1920, producing an average of 27 films every year.

The First Indian cinema “Raja Harishchandra “ was shot in 1912. Ever since the dimensions of Indian cinema has changed dramatically and has influenced the generations more than anything else. General public tens to follow the Fashion and glamour life style of film artists. Economy is thriving on new fashion and glamour concepts. Cinema as a visual medium has the most impact ever since the introduction of first movie in 1912. It is easy to spot the changing life style as with modern movies.

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (1870 - 1944) affectionately called Dadasaheb Phalke is considered as the 'father of Indian Cinema'. Central in Phalke's career as a filmmaker was his fervent belief in the nationalistic philosophy of swadeshi, which advocated that Indians should take charge of their own economy in the perspective of future Independence.

Bollywood and the other major cinematic hubs (Tamil - Kollywood, Telugu - Tollywood, Bengali, Kannada, and Malayalam) constitute the broader Indian film industry, whose output is the largest in the world in terms of number of films produced and in number of tickets sold. Bollywood is a strong part of popular culture of not only India and the rest of the Indian subcontinent, but also of the Middle East, parts of Africa, parts of Southeast Asia, and among the South Asian diaspora worldwide. Bollywood has its largest diasporic audiences in the UK, Canada, and the US, all of which have large Indian immigrant populations.

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