(Last Updated on : 29/08/2012)
India is a land of diversity. There lies a huge blend of diverse cultures, regions and languages. This diversity has thus given rise to various regional Indian films apart from the largely known Hindi film industry or Bollywood
. Regional Indian films are the keys to the Indian cinema. India is unique in its kaleidoscope of diverse languages and cultures. There are at least 15 languages and over 2000 dialects and films are produced in most of the official languages. In 1993, for example, 183 films were made in Hindi
, 168 in Tamil and 148 in Telugu. The largest numbers of regional films are produced in these three languages. However, 78 films were made in Kannada
, 71 in Malayalam
, 57 in Bengali
, 35 in Marathi
and almost 10 in Assamese.
Although one can talk of regional films, there is an incessant crossover of talents - Bengali film directors direct Hindi or Oriya films; Tamil directors direct Telugu films
. Actors and actresses from the South play leading roles in films made in the North. Furthermore, some of the well known figures in Indian cinema
, particularly in the artistic tradition, come from the regional cinemas. The diverse regional cinemas in India strive to maintain their distinctive identities and provide an important dimension of the cultural wealth and diversity of India's regional films.
The intellectual quality that permeates most of Bengali cinema
can seem to contrast with the passions and swashbuckling heroes of Tamil and Telugu cinema
. At the same time, the human element, so vibrantly presented by Satyajit Ray
, K. Subramanyam and Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(to name just three directors) is undeniable. They were iconoclasts. They refused to take matters at face value - allowing viewers to realize that truth has many faces that the mundane often transcends while the seemingly sacrosanct has been rendered redundant.
Film making in regional languages began sometime later than Hindi cinema. Mythologies and contemporary issues formed the subject matter of early films, and the interaction between filmmakers ensured that technical expertise was shared by all. Studios and stars were the life here as they were in Hindi cinema.