Indian cinema consists of films produced across India, including the cinematic endeavours of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Mumbai, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Indian films today have come of age and have a huge fan following throughout South Asia and the Middle East.
As cinema gained popularity in the country as an effective medium about 1,000 films in various Indian languages were produced annually in the infant stages of growth. Immigrants in countries such as the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America continued to give rise to international audiences for Indian films of various languages especially Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and Hindi.
In the 20th century, Indian films, along with the American and Chinese films, became a global enterprise. Use of enhanced technology upgraded cinematic norms has radically altered the manner in which films were made. Indian cinema found markets in over 90 countries where films from India are being screened. Indian films especially those made by Satyajit Ray (Bengali), Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Malayalam), Shekhar Kapur, Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta have also made it to celebrated international film festivals.
With time India has become the world’s largest producer of films. In 2009 alone India produced a total of 2961 films on celluloid, that include a whopping 1,288 feature films. The provision of 100 per cent foreign direct investment has made the Indian film market attractive for foreign enterprises such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. Prominent Indian enterprises such as Zee, UTV, Adlabs and Sun Network’s Sun Pictures also participated in producing and distributing films. Tax incentives to multiplexes have aided the multiplex boom in India. By 2003 as many as 30 film production companies had been listed at the National Stock Exchange of India, making the commercial presence of the medium felt.
The Indian Diaspora constitutes of millions of Indian viewers overseas for which films are made available. These earnings, amounting to approximately 12 per cent of the revenue generated by a mainstream film, contributing substantially to the overall revenue Indian cinema generates.
Music in Indian movies is a substantial revenue generator, with the music rights alone accounting to four to five per cent of the net revenues generated by an Indian film. Commercially, film music accounts for 48 per cent of India’s net music sales. A film in India can have many choreographed songs spread throughout its length. The demands of a multicultural, increasingly globalized Indian audience often led to a mixing of various local and international musical traditions. Local dance and music nevertheless remain a tried and tested formula to make a film do well. Playback singers such as Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle drew large crowds both nationally and internationally.
Thus we know Indian cinema and its music is big business and is here to stay.