Indian Films: Part of Indian Culture

India is the home to the largest film industry of the world and films have been a part of Indian culture. Films began to be exhibited in India in 1896 when an agent from Paris brought a movie exhibiting equipment to India and began showing movies. This was a vital moment in the culture of India in general and the Indian film industry in particular.

The first Indian film made in India was released in 1913. It was a watershed moment for Indian culture. It was made by Dadasaheb Phalke. The name of the film was Raja Harishchandra. Indian Actors The film was a mythological one and has since been remade several times.

In 1931, Alam Ara was the first Indian film that was shown in the country. It was again a momentous occasion for the culture of India. The film was the first one of its kind to have sound effects. Besides, the film was called a ‘talkie’ because it was for the first time that the actors in the movie were heard speaking. The Indian film industry thus made a quantum leap.

Meanwhile, over the years, several provincial film industries had sprung up across the country and they were making their own contributions in the art and culture of India. They were mostly categorized by their regions. These were Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Assamese and Punjabi.

During the later part of the 1930s till the beginning of the 1950s, Indian films began to have a more modern and socially relevant content. The country had achieved independence in 1947 and was beginning to feel the birth bangs synonymous with the birth of a new nation. Filmmakers began to add major innovations in their films.

The mid-1950s saw the birth of the parallel film movement of India. This was mainly led by a trio of Bengali filmmakers namely Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Rittwik Ghatak. This breed of filmmakers began making neo-realist films in line with the neo-realist movement in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. These filmmakers made their mark in Indian culture and were also able to inspire a generation of new-wave directors like Shyam Benegal, Mani Kaul, Adoor Gopalkrishnan and others.

The golden age of the Indian film industry started in the 1940s. Some of the best films were made in the 1940s and 1950s. Even mainstream filmmakers started making offbeat cinema. Directors like Bimal Roy blended realist content with mainstream technicalities and were able to appeal to the masses. He has this been able to hold a prominent place in the culture of India.

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