We hear the term Bollywood used quite a bit in recent years, although most aren’t certain of its history. India had its first exposure to film in 1896, when six silent films played at the Watson Hotel in Bombay on July 7. Since then, sound, color, and the thrill of adventure play out in theaters all over the country, including the introduction of the word Bollywood.



Obviously from the United States city of Hollywood the term Bollywood is derived from a 1970s gossip columnist. Though there is a disagreement as to which gossip columnist was the first to use the word, it still came about from the same venue.

Cinema in India in the Bollywood fashion makes us think of bright colors, beautiful flowing costumes, Bollywood songs, Bollywood actors and most any Bollywood actress. The success of the Bollywood movies in the United States has been phenomenal.

With the intense cinematic changes in the United States and Europe, the sixties was a time India was inspired to bring on its own “New Wave”, which was founded by directors Ray, Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak. The desire to create realistic story lines and to deliver the stories of common man, the movies offered during this time were different from the larger productions. The bigger commercial films would soon be the templates for the Masala film, which is a potpourri of genres. Action films, comedy and melodrama, touched by a dab of musical themes, gave the six song and dance film the model used in the most contemporary of Bollywood films.

The creation of “Slumdog Millionaire” gave India new breath into cinematography, as the film exploded in the theaters and sales skyrocketed for the DVD. India finally had the admiration of the world. With a new understanding of the culture and the capabilities of bringing great artwork to the population of the world in Bollywood move success, the possibilities are endless for Indian film artists. American movie-goers wait with bated breath for the next Bollywood style production to hit the big screen. Meanwhile, Bollywood has almost become a fad; a part of American culture as well. The crossover success is astounding and the world awaits the next musical hit from the genius filmmakers of India.

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