Cinema in India

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India has the unique distinction of producing the largest number of films in the world and in many languages. India produces nearly 3000 celluloid films every year, including around 1800 feature films. Indian feature films are produced in twenty-four different languages, the largest being in Hindi, followed by Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. It is estimated that around 15 million people see films in India daily, either in its over 13,000 theatres and multiplexes, or on video and cable. India has approximately 9,600 screens of which 2,950 are multiplex screens and multiplexes earn more than half of Indian theatrical revenues.

In fiscal year 2019, the total revenue earned by India’s film industry amounted to over 183 billion Indian rupees. Out of this, the highest earnings came from domestic theatrical revenue, worth almost 125 billion rupees. The country’s film industry recorded a 15.3 percent growth in revenue that year compared to fiscal year 2018.

Films have played an important role in developing a post-Independence Indian identity. They have served as an important channel for portraying the socio-economic and political realities of the Indian society with changing times. Films had a permeating impact on the psyche of a common Indian, who often identified himself with the leading characters of the film, be it a hero or a heroine. Cinema is an integral part of life for most Indians. It is not a distant two to three hours of distraction but a vicarious lifestyle for them. The large screen provides an alternative and an escape from the realities of day-to-day life. Cinema today is popular not only in metropolitan cities but also in smaller cities and towns.

Indian cinema, particularly the Hindi cinema or the Bollywood, is no longer confined to geographical boundaries of our country, but has become a global enterprise. The provision of 100% foreign direct investment in the Indian films has attracted several leading foreign enterprises including the 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and others to produce films in India. Indian films are today popular in different parts of the world such as North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. In many cases the Bollywood has helped in creating bridges of social and cultural understanding between India and other countries.


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