News / Arts & Entertainment

Indian Cinema on Mission to Dispel Bollywood Image

Indian actress Aishwarya Rai poses as she arrives at the evening's gala of the film
Indian actress Aishwarya Rai poses as she arrives at the evening's gala of the film "Bombay Talkies" celebrating a hundred years of Indian cinema, during the 66th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 19, 2013.
Reuters
Indian movie actors and a new wave of directors are on a mission at the Cannes film festival - to show that their industry, which turns 100 this year, is more than just Bollywood.

The largest Indian contingent to date is on the French Riviera at the world's leading cinema showcase to promote their country, which has the world's biggest film industry, making over 1,000 films a year compared to about 600 in Hollywood.

Movies from Mumbai-based Bollywood and other regional India films have struggled at the global box office with Indian cinema largely dismissed as lengthy, song-and-dance numbers.

But the industry sees the 66th Cannes festival, where India is "guest country" to mark its centenary, as a chance to showcase a new genre of Indian movies globally and to promote India as a place to both make films and win a massive audience.

"If you use the term Bollywood it really represents the song-and-dance, credibility-stretched story kind of film," director Amit Kumar, whose gangster-cop thriller "Monsoon Shootout" held its premiere at Cannes on Sunday, told Reuters. "We need to portray Indian cinema as more international and I hope our presence at Cannes will make the world realise that Indian cinema is most than just about Bollywood."

The Indian visitors to Cannes are also keen to lure investment to their film industry, which is forecast to grow to $5 billion by 2014 from $3.2 billion in 2010, according to a report by Ernst & Young.

India's presence has been high-profile since the start of the 12-day festival with acting legend Amitabh Bachchan on the red carpet on opening night to mark his Hollywood debut in Baz Luhrmann's ``The Great Gatsby'' alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.

Actress Vidya Balan also walked the red carpet in the pouring rain that night as one of nine members of a jury led by U.S. filmmaker Steven Spielberg that will decide the coveted Palme D'Or award for best picture on the final day, May 26.

A gala dinner to mark Indian cinema's centenary was due to be held on Sunday and attended by a list of stars including actresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor and Freida Pinto.

'Shackles'

There is no Indian film in either of the two main competitions at Cannes. The last Indian film selected to vie for the coveted Palme D'Or was "Swaham" in 1994 while "Udaan" competed in Un Certain Regard for emerging filmmakers in 2010.

But four Indian films will be screened - "Monsoon Shootout", another thriller "Ugly", a tribute to the industry centenary called "Bombay Talkies", and love story "Dabba" (Lunchbox).

Anupama Chopra, Bollywood author, columnist and critic, said Bollywood was a tag that independent film-makers had to fight. "Maybe one day (Indian filmmakers) will break free of the shackles of Bollywood and make a completely global film in terms of aesthetics," he said.

In 2011 India saw a 42 percent jump in the number of Hollywood movies shot there with several Hollywood studios such as Disney, News Corp's Fox, and Sony entering deals with or buying stakes in Indian companies.

There has also been a surge in the number of Hollywood movies released in India, where 3.6 billion film tickets were sold last year. Hollywood studios have been releasing their films in India simultaneously with their North American releases and also dubbing films in various regional Indian languages.

Uma Da Cunha, program advisor at the 2012 Mumbai Film Festival, said studios wanted a slice of the huge Indian market. "The big and significant change in Cannes is that the Indian film industry is being given space and attention on the international film scene and it is attracting business and ties from global film interests," she told Reuters.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Hamilton Live: Dustbowl Revivali
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
September 02, 2015 12:19 PM
Dustbowl Revival is an American roots orchestra with eight full-time members who performed live at "The Hamilton" songs from their new CD, "With A Lampshade On."

Dustbowl Revival is an American roots orchestra with eight full-time members who performed live at "The Hamilton" songs from their new CD, "With A Lampshade On."