India is crazy about films. Movie making is a big business here and on an average about 14 million people go to theatres to watch a movie and about 4 billion tickets are sold annually. Though Bollywood is known to be the identity of Indian Cinema, regional cinema has also left a mark of its own. The most prominent of them are Bangla, Bhojpuri, Maharashtrian, Kashmiri film industries. South Indian Cinema – consisting of Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil Nadu and Telegu film industries – has its own version of churning a huge number of films and is a thriving business with shorter duration of movie processing and a good budget, which also woos many Bollywood stars to act in their movies.
So it should not be a surprise that this country holds 4 film cities. The biggest being Ramoji Film City in Andhra Pradesh. Lets take a glimpse at all the film cities in the country.
Ramoji Film City
Certified by the Guiness Books, to be the World’s Largest Film Studio Complex, Ramoji Film City was launched in 1996. Situated 60 kms from Hyderabad, it is known to be spaced out across 2000 acres. Besides providing exquisite film shooting landscapes and technologically advanced pre and post production and processing laboratories, it also stages state-of-the-art Concerns, Events, Beauty pageants, corporate meetings, and new product launches.
The city offers over 500 locations and can cater to 20 international films simultaneously. Nearly 40 Indian films can be produced simultaneously in the complex manned by a workforce of 6,000 personnel. The wide array of production services includes Maya, the set design and construction division, Parade, the props and costumes division and the choicest accommodation and catering services. There is a backup inventory of 10,000 objects such as pillars, cornices, brackets moulds, domes and dado designs, an accomplished workforce of 500 professionals of Maya design and execute miniatures of any setting.
The hills, lakes, fountains, pathways offer excellent landscapes for shooting films. The sets range from Japanese garden to horrified jungle of Africa to mock architectures of Paris to miniature of Taj Mahal. Different landscapes, costumes, antiques, furniture, paintings give the tourists to experience different eras starting from stone age to contemporary times. The Mauryan art and the architecture will take you in a journey to ancient India. As at Hollywood’s Universal Studios, Ramoji Film City doubles as a theme park.
Mumbai Film City
Mumbai is known as the city where dreams come true esp. for those pursuing their career in Bollywood. The most popular film studio, Mumbai film City is situated in Goregaon East, in the vicinity of Aarey Colony. The hub of the film making industry in India and the largest film industry in the world, Bollywood is a phenomenon in itself. The renowned film city of Mumbai started its journey in 1911 with the release of the first silent Indian feature film. The booming Bollywood industry constitutes of 250 studios in Mumbai alone. The film city, earlier a studio built by Dada Saheb Phalke, was reshaped and reworked by the government later. Exotic locales are well integrated into this sprawling film city. The Masala movies produced by the film city have led to the nurturing of newer thoughts and ideas.
The Film City is well equipped with large studios for indoor shootings, recording room, a theater, and facilities like garden, lakes, ground for fighting scenes, helipads etc. for outdoor shooting. The plan for this Film City was prepared and executed under the able guidance of late V. Shantaram, the veteran actor, director and film producer. Dadasaheb Phalke was the first film maker of Bollywood shooting in Film City of Bombay with his first film, ‘Raja Harishchandra’ and since then everything is just a History with all new equipment giving Black and White movies a new Colour. The Film City is not open to admission without a prior permission. Film City is easily accessible from the western Express Highway and the nearest stations are Goregaon & Malad (Western Railway).
MGR Film City
The MGR Film City was built in 1994 in honor of large icon and popular matinee idol of Tamil Cinema and former Chief Minister, M.G. Ramachandran. Covering 70 acres at Taramani in Chennai, the MGR Film City is a popular tourist spot and the setting of several South Indian films. The film city has a film school, indoor and outdoor shooting locations, replicas of village and urban areas, temple, church, mosque, post office, police station, prison, courtroom, and landscaped gardens in Italian, Japanese and Mughal styles. The recently opened MGR Knowledge Park adds to the attraction.
A charismatic actor and philanthropist, M.G. Ramachandran commanded the idolatrous adulation of millions of Tamilians and became Tamil Nadu’s chief minister. His achievements in 3 fields, namely films, philanthropy and politics were remarkable.
Noida Film City
The Noida Film City was built in 1987 by Sandeep Marwah, and it lies across 100 acres of land wherein 25 acres is covered with only the indoor studio. The Film City has been a host to a number of shootings for various feature films, both for the mainstream Bollywood cinema and for a large number of regional films made in Hindi, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Kashmiri and other Indian languages. Owing to its proximity to the Doordarshan (the Prasar Bharti transmission headquarters in New Delhi), and a large number of private broadcasting and transmitting stations that have moved to the NCR region, the Film City has become a first choice for shooting television serials, news and other entertainment-cum-education programs for various channels.