Indian film has gone global

2013-08-21 00:00

SOME years ago, Indian cinema legend Amitabh Bachchan told me how the industry was on the verge of global growth amid the growing popularity of Bollywood films abroad.

“It would be lovely to have Indian cinema recognised worldwide as an important entity, almost as important as Hollywood,” Bachchan said. He was telling me how he had always believed that the Indian film industry had to be corporatised rather than being run by family dynasties, as had been done for decades by a few family-run groups that dominated the industry.

“I would like to believe that I initiated the concept of corporatisation by starting my own company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL), by getting financial institutions and professionals into the business because of the vast potential that Indian cinema has, and its uniqueness, really,” Bachchan said.

Unfortunately, his initiative failed in its grand plans because of reported mismanagement by trusted figures within the company, which almost drove him to bankruptcy.

“It is no longer film only, as shown on screens. Film now also forms 80% to 90% of software content for television in India. There is music, there are events, making it a wonderful umbrella that needs to be exploited to the fullest.

“The only way it can happen is for the industry to have a better managed, disciplined and professional outlook, and that is exactly what is happening.”

That was about 17 years ago, and Bachchan’s prophetic words have proved to be true. Bollywood abounds in every corner of the globe. His daughter-in-law and former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, is a regular feature at the Cannes Film Festival, and Slumdog Millionaire’s Oscar win a few years ago put Bollywood firmly in the international spotlight.

The advent of satellite television also extended the demand for Indian film for television from networks that stretch from Mongolia to Melbourne. These days, some producers make more money from the satellite rights for their films than they do from conventional cinema screenings.

But accountability and transparency in the industry still remain largely a problem. In an industry where the fate and future of not just the stars in a film, but that of the producers who invest millions of rupees, are decided by often fickle viewers at the box office every Friday when the films are released, there is often a great reluctance to divulge earnings.

Companies that are now tying up partnerships with major, long-established Hollywood movie companies such as 20th Century Fox and Disney, have seen that reluctance change though, as shareholders and corporate-governance laws make new demands for accountability.

Pritish Nandy Communications became one of India’s first film-production companies to list on the stock exchange in 2000, heralding a new era in Indian film production.

Reliance Entertainment followed quickly by establishing partnerships with Hollywood giants DreamWorks and Paramount.

By January last year, Reliance DreamWorks movies had secured no fewer than 11 Oscar nominations.

The prediction made almost two decades ago by Bachchan, of global acclaim for Bollywood, has come to fruition, and the internationalisation of Bollywood continues unabated.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.