Alam Ara: was the first talkie movie made in India by A. Irani in 1931.
India is the world’s largest producer of films. In 2009, India produced a total of 2961 films on celluloid, that include 1288 feature films.
The provision of 100% foreign direct investment has made the Indian film market attractive for foreign enterprises such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures and Warner Bros.
The cinema of India consists of films produced across India, which includes the cinematic cultures of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Indian films came to be followed throughout Southern Asia, the Greater Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the former Soviet Union. The cinema as a medium gained popularity in the country as many as 1,000 films in various languages of India were produced annually.
The first Indian film released in India was Shree pundalik a silent film in Marathi by Dadasaheb Torne on 18 May 1912 at ‘Coronation Cinematograph’, Mumbai. Some have argued that Pundalik does not deserve the honour of being called the first Indian film because it was a photographic recording of a popular Marathi play, and because the cameraman—a man named Johnson—was a British national and the film was processed in London.
A scene from Raja Harishchandra (1913) – The full-length motion picture.producer-director-screenwriter Dadasaheb Phalke, the Father of Indian cinema.
The first full-length motion picture in India was produced by Dadasaheb Phalke, Dadasaheb is the pioneer of Indian film industry a scholar on India’s languages and culture, who brought together elements from Sanskrit epics to produce his Raja Harishchandra (1913), a silent film in Marathi. The female roles in the film were played by male actors. The film marked a historic benchmark in the film industry in India. Only one print of the film was made and shown at the Coronation Cinematograph on 3 May 1913. It was a commercial success and paved the way for more such films.
The first Indian chain of cinema theatres was owned by the parsi entrepreneur Jamshedji Framji Madan, who oversaw production of 10 films annually and distributed them throughout the Indian subcontinent starting from 1902. He founded Elphinstone Bioscope Company in Calcutta. Elphinstone merged into Madan Theatres Limited in 1919 which brought many of Bengal’s most popular literary works to the stage. He also produced Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra in 1917, a remake of Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra (1913).
Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu was an Indian artist and a pioneer in the production of silent Indian movies and talkies. Starting from 1909, he was involved in many aspects of Indian cinema’s history, like travelling to different regions in Asia, to promote film work. He was the first to build and own cinema halls in Madras. The Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu Award is an annual award incorporated into Nandi Awards to recognise people for their contributions to the Telugu film industry.