Film collection marks 100 years of Indian cinema

The Associated Press

NEW DELHI — Four top Indian filmmakers have come together to make “Bombay Talkies,” a short-film collection that hits theaters Friday to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema.

India’s first full-length feature film “Raja Harishchandra,” or “King Harishchandra,” was released in 1913. Its producer and director Dhundiraj Govind Phalke is described as the “father of Indian cinema.”

The four popular and contemporary filmmakers behind “Bombay Talkies” are Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee. While Johar is known for his larger-than-life, song-and-dance love stories, the other three known for more realistic work.

Friday’s release is a collection of four short films that has some of Indian cinema’s biggest names making appearances. The stars include Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and other actors including Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherji and Katrina Kaif.

The films deal with subjects as varied the dilemmas faced by a married couple, a failed actor’s struggle to make a living and a young boy’s dreams about a movie star.

“Raja Harishchandra” was a silent film. The first Indian “talkie” or film with sound was “Alam Ara” in 1931.

Since then Indian cinema has become the largest producer of films in the world. India produced nearly 1,500 films last year, according to accounting firm KPMG.

Indian films have also won audiences across the world, especially among the South Asian diaspora. It’s not uncommon now for an Indian blockbuster film to be released in theaters in India and across the world on the same day.

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