11 Things You Must Know About the Indian Film Industries Beyond Bollywood

India produces the largest amount of movies in the world but that is not just Bollywood’s contribution. There are numerous other film industries who are responsible for this world record. And these regional movie industries are way cooler than they are presumed to be. Some of them date back to 1910s and have produced movies that have influenced filmmakers worldwide.

There are many regional film industries in India and you have got to check them out. We cannot list them all here, so take a look at these 11 Indian regional film industries and some of the coolest trivia about them.

1. Tollywood (Not to be confused with Bengali film industry)

The Telugu film industry houses some of the most talented filmmakers and has won several Guinness World Records. Some of these include D. Rama Naidu for the most prolific producer, Dasary Narayana Rao for the most number of movies directed and Brahmanandam for acting in the most number of films in a single language (1000+).


2. Tollywood (Not to be confused with Telugu film industry)

The cinema of West Bengal has given us legends like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, and Mrinal Sen who have inspired filmmakers all over the world. The industry is known to be the most artistically and intellectually inclined. With movies like The Apu Trilogy (1955-59), Nagarik (1952), Charulata (1964), Subarnarekha (1965), etc. the industry has a history of inspirational work.


3. Bhojiwood

The Bhojpuri film industry has been in existence since the 1960s but it earned renown only in the 80s with movies like Mai (1989) and Hamar Bhauji (1983). Since then, there have been many blockbuster movies and Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Hema Malini, and Ajay Devgn have all starred in Bhojpuri movies. Reports suggest that Bhojiwood now stands at a worth of 2000 crores.

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4. Pahariwood

Pahariwood refers to the Dogri Cinema, a language mainly used in the northern area of the country like Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Northern Punjab. This industry is not as large as the others with only a few movies produced since its inception (1966). Dille Ch Vasya Koi (2011) is the only Dogri movie which has been awarded a National Film Award under the regional category.

5. Dhollywood/Gollywood

Gujarati cinema is one of the major regional film industries in India. It has been in existence since 1932 and has produced more than a thousand movies. It is saddening to know that of all the 1030 movies produced until 2011, only 20 were archived at the National Film Archive of India (NFAI). None of the silent films/talkies from the 30s and 40s survive.


6. Sandalwood

The Kannada film industry is the fifth largest film Industry in India after Bollywood as per the box office performance. It is also referred to as Chandanavana throughout the country as ‘chandan’ means ‘sandal’ in English. There are more than 1000 single screen cinemas in Karnataka and the madness is worth an experience during the release of a movie starring Puneeth Rajkumar.


7. Mollywood

The Malayalam film industry has been in existence since 1928 but they weren’t actively producing till the 1950s. With the support of the Govt. of Kerela, the industry developed massively with every decade and has now become one of the top film industries of India with a crazy fan following of stars like Mohanlal, Mammootty, and Prithviraj.


8. Ollywood

The Odia film industry is based in Cuttack, Odhisa. The first Odhiya film released in 1936 and was prepared at a meagre budget of INR 30,000 only. The industry had released only a couple of movies in the next two decades and it wasn’t until the 70s that Ollywood was established properly. The industry now boasts of 36 National Awards in the regional category.


9. Pollywood

The Punjabi film industry has been in existence since the 1920s and is one of the earliest internationally recognized regional film industries of India. Punjabi cinema is amongst the most developed industries before Indian Independence and the Partition highly affected the industry as Punjab went through a huge crisis after the division. The next decade was spent reviving the industry, which now boasts of movies like Carry on Jatta 2 with box office collection of more than 60 crores.


10. Kollywood

Tamil cinema is the second largest film industry in India and is home to Thalaiva. The first Tamil silent movie Keechaka Vadham released in 1918 and the first talkie Kalidas released in 1931, six months after India’s first talking motion picture Alam Ara came out. And there’s no explaining to the madness that follows during the release of any movie starring Rajinikanth.


11. Deccanwood

The Deccani film industry is based in Hyderabad, Telangana and caters to the Deccani language/Hyderabadi Urdu speaking people. A comparatively newly established industry, the films produced under them were originally labeled as ‘Hindi’ films by the Central Board of Film Certification. Now the industry has been granted its own language tag of Dakhini.


All of these industries produce some of the finest content and every week there are movies that can be categorized as a must-watch. You can keep checking BookMyShow for the list of upcoming movies and our blog for the movies that cannot be missed.

Shikha Singh: