From the glitziest of spectacles to the most minimalist yet capturing stories, the Indian film industry has delivered it all. Cinema has always been a rightfully glorified part of this country with extremely diverse cultures. It is home to Bollywood – the biggest film industry in the world in terms of the number of people employed and the number of films produced. This massive industry has immortalised itself as a prominent part of Indian culture. And as India begins to make its place known around the world, Bollywood has also found its place in the global village.
Even as far back as the 1950s, films like Mother India (1957), Awaara (1951), and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) received international acclaim. Mehboob Khan’s Mother India was India’s first submission for the Academy Awards, and even got nominated for the Oscar. Bollywood has churned out many more internationally recognised films. Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Lagaan (2001) was also nominated for an Academy Award. Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding (2001) and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas (2002) were nominated for BAFTA awards. Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox (2013) even won the Grand Rail D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
In the years to come, this trajectory only promises to keep growing as more films get regular screenings at major international film festivals and the overseas market contributes to Bollywood’s box office collections. With this, Bollywood filmmakers are starting to explore overseas markets and are even catering to NRI viewers. This means we can continue to expect films like Masaan (2015), which received a 5-minute long standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. With up to three hours of drama, memorable dialogues, and even songs and dances, Bollywood movies are now dubbed, subtitled and thriving in the unlikeliest of places around the globe.