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Interesting Facts about Indian Films and Indian Cinema

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The Indian Film Industry is the largest film industry in the world. Out of the various film industries in the country Bollywood alone (Mumbai based film industry) is known to produce more than 800 to 1000 films a year.

What many people do not know is that Bollywood was born in 1899 with the production of a short film which is 11 years before Hollywood’s birth later in 1910 with a Biography melodrama. Bollywood has a worldwide audience of 3 Billion and in terms of viewer ship, it overtook Hollywood in 2004 and has been leading ever since.

Here are some more interesting Facts about Indian Cinema and its Films:

India’s First Talkie Film

March 14, 1931 was a historic day for Indian cinema. Ardeshir Irani of Imperial Movietone released Alam Ara (Light of the Universe), the first full-length Indian talkie film at the Majestic cinema in Bombay. Alam Ara was made under the banner of Imperial Movietone. It was produced and directed by Ardeshir Marwan Irani. The film was based on a successful Parsi play of the same name, written by Joseph David. The star cast of Alam Ara included some of the popular stars of the silent era like Prithviraj Kapoor, L.V. Prasad, W.M. Khan, Master Vithal and Zubeida.

First Color Film Made in India

The trend of colour films began very late in India. Kisan Kanya was a 1937 Hindi feature film which was directed by Moti B. Gidvani and produced by Ardeshir Irani of Imperial Pictures. It is largely remembered by the Indian public on account of it being India’s first indigenously made colour film. The storyline of the film featured an exploitative landlord and a good peasant Ramu who is accused of murdering the landlord. The film had 10 songs, which were released by Gramophone Records.

Film with Most Number of Songs

Indra Sabha with 71 songs is the film with most number of songs. The film was made in 1932 by Madan Theatres and the director of the film was J.J. Madan. The plot of the film revolves around a benevolent king whose moral character is tested by celestial powers. They cause an apsara (a fairy) to appear before the king as a fallen woman begging for mercy.

Indra Sabha was based on a play written by Sayed Aga Hasan Amanat. The film had two singers

Master Nissar and Jehanara Kajjan. The other cast of the film included Abdul Rehman Kabuli and Mukhtar Begum.

First Indian to Get an Oscar

Bhanu Athaiya was the First Indian to Get an Oscar. She won the award for the Best Costume Designer for Richard Attenborough’s film Gandhi in 1982. Bhanu Athaiya has been associated with the Hindi Film Industry for more than 50 years. She was born as Bhanumati Annasaheb Rajopadhye in Kolhapur in Maharashtra. She married Satyendra Athaiya, a poet and lyricist for Hindi. The marriage ended in separation and Bhanu never remarried. Some of the other notable films for which Bhanu has worked are:

Swades (2004), Lagaan (2001), 1942 A Love Story (1994), Karz (1980) and lots more.

Longest Hindi Film Song

The song Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon in the film by the same name is the longest Hindi film song. The length of the song is 20 minutes and the song is featured in three installments in the film. The song is sung by Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, and Kailash Kher and is written by Sameer. The music of the song is composed by Anu Malik. The movie Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon is directed by Anil Sharma and the star cast of the film includes Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, and Divya Khosla. Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon belongs to the genre of patriotism and the basic plot of the film revolves around the theme of fight against terrorism.

Highest Paid Indian Actor

While this fact is still debate able it has been recently said that Akshay Kumar is charging a whopping Rs.20-22 Crore (Rs. 20,00,00,000/ 200 million Rupees) for his next film overtaking India’s highest paid actor Rajnikanth who has been charging Rs.16 Crore per film following the runaway success of ‘SHIVAJI – THE BOSS’.

Akshay’s starred in Nikhil Advani’s big budget adventure flick ‘CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA’ which depicts a part of the actor’s life and cost a whopping Rs 100 crore making it one of the most costliest films made so far!

Akshay Kumar also tops off another list at No.1 as Bollywood’s Highest Tax Payer for 2008 – 09

Longest Indian Movie

LOC : Kargil  at 4 hrs 25 min is the Longest Indian movie made so far. The story is of Indian soldiers fighting in Kargil and being remembered by their family and features a big star cast. In an effort to give each cast member a back story, LOC:Kargil became a tedious, song-filled production with no real highlight except the dubious distinction of being the longest Hindi film ever.

Mera Naam Joker at 4 hrs 14 min is a close second.

Longest Running Indian Film in Cinemas

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge has become a milestone, which is yet to be achieved by anyone even after a decade. It has completed 700 weeks of undeterred run at Mumbai’s Minnerva theatre a couple of years back. It was released nationwide on October 20, 1995. The film was directed by Aditya Chopra, and starred Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, and Amrish Puri. Earning over Rs 580 million in India and Rs 175 million overseas, the film became the biggest Bollywood hit of the year, as well as one of the biggest Bollywood hits of all time. The movie remains the longest running film in the history of Indian cinema.

Sholay was the second longest running Indian movie. It ran for 5 years continuously and the theatres screening it always had the houseful board in front of it for that period.


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