By Ali Raza
Bollywood is the informal word that is used to describe the Hindi language films and film industry. Although it has been used incorrectly to describe Indian cinema, it is actually based in Mumbai and is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest in the world. The name Bollywood is obtained from the combination of the words Bombay, the previous name for Mumbai, and Hollywood, the American film production center.
The name dates back in the 1970s when India was the leading film producer in the world, ahead of America. The name was inspired by the term 'Tollywood' which referred to the Bengali Film Industry that was based in Tollygunge. When Bombay film industry overtook Tollygunge, the word Bollywood was coined. The seventies saw the new wave cinema with the entry of new film makers from different areas and so it continued to the eighties and nineties.
This film industry has a lot of inspirations from various sources. One of them is the ancient Indian epics which brought about the use of various techniques like side- and back-story as well as stories within stories. The other is the Ancient Sanskrit drama which features a highly stylized nature and an emphasis on spectacle. The main features of this drama include dance, gesture and music to create a dramatic effect. The other major influence is the traditional folk theatre, which was very popular in the 10th century. The influence of Parsi theatre is also seen in this film production industry. It features the combination of fantasy and realism, music and dance, spectacle and narrative and stage presentation to create melodrama. The other major influence is Hollywood, especially the musicals. The only difference is that the Indian film producers used songs and dance to enhance fantasy and also give articulation to their movies. In the 1990s the western musical television has been seen to influence the music and dance of a lot of Indian films.
These film productions are recognized and awarded through various film events, with the major one being the Filmfare Awards, which was started in 1954 by Filmfare Magazine. During the same year the National Film Awards was introduced and was sponsored by the Indian government via the Directorate of Film Festivals. The DFF screens films from regional movie industries as well as independent or art films. Others within the region include Stardust and Star Screen Awards.
Bollywood has been producing different types of films that have been recognized not only within the Bollywood film industry but also other industries in the world.
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