03.05.

1913: How was the Indian Film Industry in Bollywood Launched?

1913: How was the Indian Film Industry in Bollywood Launched?
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / A scene from the film Raja Harishchandra, 1913

Story Highlights

  • Hstorical event
  • 3 May 1913
  • Today, the Indian film industry in Bollywood is leading in the world by the number of films produced annually. In fact, in India, over 3,000 films are produced annually, more than in any other country.

On this day the first Bollywood movie, titled Raja Harischandra, was presented in India. The screening is considered to be the beginning of the entire Indian film industry. 

This silent black-and-white film is about one of the legendary Indian kings, Harischandra, who had two rare virtues: firstly – he never transgressed his word, and secondly – he never lied. These virtues led him into poverty and slavery.

Nevertheless, he never strayed from them and became a model of virtuous living for the Indians. Finally, the gods rewarded him by returning him to his previous royal position and reuniting him with his family.

The film premiered in Bombay (Mumbai) and resulted in such success among the Indians that the roads leading to the theater were filled with people who wanted to see it.

The producer had to make many new copies in order to be able to show the movie in rural areas.

Today, the Indian film industry is the world leader according to the number of films produced annually. In fact, over 3,000 films are produced in India annually, more than in any other country.

Although Bollywood (“Bombay Hollywood”) is the best known producer of films in the country, it is not the only one, because there are many other important film centers in rest of India.

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