India has the largest movie industry in the world producing over 2961 films in 2009 alone. With the increasing popularity of Bollywood films, it is not uncommon for western fans of the genre to confuse the meaning of “Bollywood” with “The Hollywood of India”, when it’s merely a colloquial term used to refer to Hindi films originating from the city of Mumbai (formally known as Bombay). Hindi films are the most popular of Indian films, with some of highest budgets and highest paid actors and actresses in India. Because many people are unaware of the other prominent languages of India that fuel other sectors of the Indian film industry, I am writing this article in hopes of opening the minds of those who are interested in learning more about the Indian film industries that are growing more popular around the globe. Indian Actors Below are 3 of my personal favorites:
Telugu ( A language with 74 million speakers)
Telugu Cinema (also known as Tollywood or Cinema of Andhra Pradesh) is one of the 3 most prominent film industries in India producing Hundreds of movies a year. 245 Telugu movies were released in 2006 alone.
Interesting Facts: The Telugu film industry holds the Guinness World Record for having the largest production Studio complex in the world. The largest IMAX theatre in India is infact a Telugu theatre in Hyderabad and is one of the largest of it’s kind internationally.
Tamil (A language with 61 million speakers in India and Shri Lanka):
The term Tamil Cinema (also known as the Chennai Film Industry) is used to refer to the film industry in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Over the years, Tamil cinema has influenced other industry sectors, including Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu cinema. Tamil cinema has fans across the world in countries and regions like Singapore, Malaysia, Western Europe and the Middle East.
Interesting Fact: The first Tamil movie was called Keechaka Vaadham, which was directed by R. Nataraja.
Malayalam (33 million speakers in india):
The term Malayalam Cinema refers to the film industry of the state of Kerala. These films are in the language of Malayalam, a major Dravidian, South Indian language. Malayalam Cinema has very developed industry with low to high budget films that have grown in popularity even outside of Kerala. The first 3D and CinemaScope films in the country of india were a Malayalam films. The industry has become so successful that films in other Indian languages are being produced in Kerala, including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Interesting Fact: The first Malayalam film was released 1930. It was a silent film produced and directed by J.C. Daniel.
Indian Cinema Beyond Bollywood:
It is difficult for one to know what he or she is missing in the Indian Film industry when they are only aware of one sub-genre, Bollywood. After reading this article I hope that you will find the courage to give other sub-genres of Indian Cinema a chance by visiting your local Indian video rental store or website to discover more of what India has to offer.