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52 copy    Welcome to the home of Bollywood (Mumbai), Mumbai is proud to have a highly acclaimed Hindi film industry. We intend to give a better perspective of the history, technical and creative art of film making in India to our guests (tourists).

     Here at Bollywood Tours we offer you a wide range of tour packages that are tailor made to suite your holiday as well as your budget. Bollywood Tours is one of its kind providing you with the Ultimate Mumbai Experience….

Welcome to Bollywood Tour

      The glitz and glamour of Mumbai is unparalleled. The city has always been known as the land of dreams. So much so that, the noted musical director Andrew Lloyd Webber produced and directed a musical on its magic, entitled ‘Bombay Dreams’.

     Mumbai is home to the largest film industry in the world: Bollywood. With more than 1000 films per year and tickets sales worth 3.6. billion, Bollywood is one of India’s greatest export items next to IT. Its appeal works like a magnet and wannabes from all over the country throng to the city in search of fame and money. Many famous film stars who reside in Mumbai today were once small time employees in unknown and forgotten firms. Every day thousands stream into Mumbai to make their dreams come true. Some do, some don’t. But everyone stays on. Some in sprawling penthouse suites, some in one-room slums, but no one wants to leave. Once you know Mumbai, you’re addicted to its rhythm.

      Etymology The name “Bollywood” is a portmanteau of Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood, the center of the American film industry.  known as Indian film Industry. Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the Indian film industry.

      However, unlike Hollywood, Bollywood does not exist as a physical place. Though some deplore the name, arguing that it makes the industry look like a poor cousin to Hollywood,  The term “Bollywood” has origins in the 1970s, when India overtook America as the world’s largest film producer.  Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest in the world.


      The first Bollywood films to be shown were previewed in the Watson hotel and were silent movies of short length. Two brothers named Lumiere were responsible for bringing cinema to India from France in 1896 with those 6 short films that began the Bollywood story.

Raja Harishchandra” (1913), by Dadasaheb Phalke, was the first silent feature film made in India. By the 1930s, the industry was producing over 200 films per annum. The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani’s “Alam Ara” (1931), was a major commercial success. There was clearly a huge market for talkies and musicals; Bollywood and all the regional film industries quickly switched to sound filming.


      The Filmfare Awards ceremony is one of the most prominent film events given for Hindi films in India. The Indian screen magazine Filmfare started the first Filmfare Awards in 1954, and awards were given to the best films of 1953. Modeled after the poll-based merit format of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, individuals may submit their votes in separate categories. A dual voting system was developed in 1956. Like the Oscars,

      As the Filmfare, the National Film Awards were introduced in 1954. Since 1973, the Indian government has sponsored the National Film Awards, awarded by the government run Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF). The DFF screens not only Bollywood films, but films from all the other regional movie industries and independent/art films. These awards are handed out at an annual ceremony presided over by the President of India. Under this system, in contrast to the National Film Awards, which are decided by a panel appointed by Indian Government, the Filmfare Awards are voted for by both the public and a committee of experts.


   Bollywood films are multimillion dollar productions, with the most expensive productions costing up to 100 crores Rupees (roughly USD 20 million). Sets, costumes, special effects, and cinematography were not less than worldclass.
Recent Bollywood films have employed international technicians to improve in these areas, such as “Krrish” (2006) which has action choreographed by Hong Kong based Tony Ching. The increasing accessibility to professional action and special effects, coupled with rising film budgets, has seen an explosion in the action and sci-fi genres. Sequences shot overseas have proved a real box office draw, so Mumbai film crews are increasingly filming in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, continental Europe and elsewhere. Nowadays, Indian producers are winning more and more funding for big-budget films shot within India as well, such as “Lagaan”, “Devdas” and other recent films.

      Funding for Bollywood films often comes from private distributors and a few large studios. Indian banks and financial institutions were forbidden from lending money to movie studios. However, this ban has now been lifted. As finances are not regulated, some funding also comes from illegitimate sources, such as the Mumbai underworld. The Mumbai underworld has been known to be involved in the production of several films,; On occasion, they have been known to use money and muscle power to get their way in cinematic deals.

       The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) estimates that the Bollywood industry loses $100 million annually in loss of revenue from pirated home videos and DVDs.. (In fact, bootleg copies are the only way people in Pakistan can watch Bollywood movies, since the Government of Pakistan has banned their sale, distribution and telecast).

    Films are frequently broadcast without compensation by countless small cable TV companies in India and other parts of South Asia. Small convenience stores run by members of the Indian Diaspora in the U.S. and the UK regularly stock tapes and DVDs of dubious provenance, while consumer copying adds to the problem. The availability of illegal copies of movies on the Internet also contributes to the piracy problem.

        For an interesting comparison of Hollywood and Bollywood financial figures, It shows tickets sold in 2002 and total revenue estimates. Bollywood sold 3.6 billion tickets and had total revenues (theater tickets, DVDs, television etc.) of US$1.3 billion, whereas Hollywood films sold 2.6 billion tickets and generated total revenues (again from all formats) of US$51 billion.

       In modern films, Indian dance elements often blend with Western dance styles (as seen on MTV or in Broadway musicals), though it is not unusual to see Western pop and pure classical dance numbers side by side in the same film. The hero or heroine will often perform with a troupe of supporting dancers. Many song-and-dance routines in Indian films feature unrealistically instantaneous shifts of location and/or changes of costume between verses of a song. If the hero and heroine dance and sing a pas de deux, it is often staged in beautiful natural surroundings or architecturally grand settings. This staging is referred to as a “Picturisation” Songs typically comment on the action taking place in the movie, in several ways. Sometimes, a song is worked into the plot, so that a character has a reason to sing., the event is almost always two characters falling in love.

      Bollywood films have always used what are now called “Item Numbers”. A physically attractive female character (the “Item Girl”). For the last few decades Bollywood producers have been releasing the film’s soundtrack, as tapes or CDs, before the main movie release, hoping that the music will pull audiences into the cinema later. Often the soundtrack is more popular than the movie. In the last few years some producers have also been releasing music videos, usually featuring a song from the film. However, some promotional videos feature a song which is not included in the movie.

Cast and Crew

         Bollywood employs people from all parts of India. It attracts thousands of aspiring actors and actresses, all hoping for a break in the industry. Models and beauty contestants, television actors, theater actors and even common people come to Mumbai with the hope and dream of becoming a star. Just as in Hollywood, very few succeed. Since many Bollywood films are shot abroad, many foreign extras are employed too.

       Stardom in the entertainment industry is very fickle, and Bollywood is no exception. The popularity of the stars can rise and fall rapidly. Directors compete to hire the most popular stars of the day, who are believed to guarantee the success of a movie (though this belief is not always supported by box-office results). Hence many stars make the most of their fame, once they become popular, by making several movies simultaneously.

        However, industry connections are no guarantee of a long career: competition is fierce and if film industry scions do not succeed at the box office, their careers will falter. Some of the biggest stars, such as Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, and Shahrukh Khan have succeeded despite total lack of show business connections.

    Influence here have generally been six major influences that have shaped the conventions of Indian popular cinema: The ancient Indian epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana which have exerted a profound influence on the thought and imagination of Indian popular cinema, particularly in its narratives. Examples of this influence include the techniques of a side story, back-story and story within a story. Indian popular films often have plots which branch off into sub-plots; such narrative dispersals can clearly be seen in the 1993 films “Khalnayak” and “Gardish”.

       Ancient Sanskrit drama, with its highly stylized nature and emphasis on spectacle, where music, dance and gesture combined “to create a vibrant artistic unit with dance and mime being central to the dramatic experience.” Sanskrit dramas were known as Natya, derived from the root word Nritya (Dance), characterizing them as spectacular dance-dramas which has continued Indian cinema.

The traditional folk theatre of India, which became popular from around the 10th century with the decline of Sanskrit theatre. These regional traditions include the Yatra of Bengal, the Ramlila of Uttar Pradesh, and the Terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu. he Parsi theatre, which “blended realism and fantasy, music and dance, narrative and spectacle, earthy dialogue and ingenuity of stage presentation, integrating them into a dramatic discourse of melodrama. The Parsi plays contained crude humor, melodious songs and music, sensationalism and dazzling stagecraft.

      Hollywood, where musicals were popular from the 1920s to the 1950s, though Indian filmmakers departed from their Hollywood counterparts in several ways. “For example, the Hollywood musicals had as their plot the world of entertainment itself. Indian filmmakers, while enhancing the elements of fantasy so pervasive in Indian popular films, used song and music as a natural mode of articulation in a given situation in their films. There is a strong Indian tradition of narrating mythology, history, fairy stories and so on through song and dance.” In addition, “whereas Hollywood filmmakers strove to conceal the constructed nature of their work so that the realistic narrative was wholly dominant, Indian filmmakers made no attempt to conceal the fact that what was shown on the screen was a creation, an illusion, a fiction. However, they demonstrated how this creation intersected with people’s day to day lives in complex and interesting ways.”

      Western musical television, particularly MTV, which has had an increasing influence since the 1990s, as can be seen in the pace, camera angles, dance sequences and music of 2000s Indian films. An early example of this approach was in Mani Ratnam’s “Bombay” (1995).


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