Bollywood cinema: 10 lesser-known facts

  • 6 May 2013
  • From the section India
Media captionBollywood directors on their views of Indian cinema

Four top Bollywood filmmakers - Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee and Zoya Akhtar - have made Bombay Talkies, a film which pays homage to 100 years of Indian cinema. They tell the BBC how Bollywood will evolve over the next decade. Excerpts:


Our cinema is becoming more artistic, aesthetic and edgier.

We are heading in a direction where the filmmaker is becoming more individualistic about his work. It is not pure commerce anymore.

You also see directors making different kinds of films.

They are coming from small towns. Places like Meerut and Malegaon have their own film industries. Bihar state has at least four towns that have their own industries. Directors are shooting on home video, making DVDs and showing their work locally.

Then there are people making short films and putting them on YouTube. I like the way our cinema is moving.


I am exceptionally optimistic about the future of Indian cinema.

Now there is a space for every kind of film. There is a lot of talent in our industry which is now finding financial backing.

Once there was the commercial cinema and the art-house cinema, but I think those lines are getting blurred.

The good news is that the audiences have also evolved and are ready for new content, sometimes much more than the filmmakers themselves. This is a big wake up call for us.

Yes, if you make a big budget commercial film meant for the masses, it will still get a large audience and give you big returns.

I'm producing all kinds of films. And I'm waiting for that one tiny gem of a film that gives you prestige and also puts money in the bank.


Song and dance films will always be there. But there will be films where music is used differently in the narrative.

The world is getting small. An Indian company has even invested in an American studio.

It's a matter of time before there will be international co-productions and we will begin making films for foreign audiences.

Indian cinema will also become more hybrid. And our market at home will remain big.


India is the largest market in the world. That's a plus, but there's a problem.

Over the last 20 years, India's economy has changed the country. As a result, studios all over the world have woken up to the fact that there's money to be made in India.

What happens in a situation like this is what happened to Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, when Hollywood moved in en masse, and killed the diversity of films in the region.

That is what we have to fight.

In the next 10 years the fight will mainly be taken to the front by the directors because the actors won't fight it, the Indian studios won't fight it and the audiences will keeping coming to the multiplexes to see whatever film they see.

It is the Indian directors funded by Indian studios, or Hollywood studios who will partner with Indian studios, who will have to stand up and make diverse films that are relevant, engaging, exciting and edgy.

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