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Pride of India

Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Mumbai-based film industry in India. Bollywood is one of the largest film producers in the world and the largest in terms of number of films produced. The name is a portmanteau of Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood, the center of the American film industry.

Raja Harishchandra (1913) was the first silent feature film made in India. It was made by Dadasaheb Phalke. 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 super hit. 

The 1930s and 1940s were tumultuous times: India was buffeted by the Great Depression, World War II, the Indian independence movement, and the violence of the Partition. Most Bollywood films were unabashedly escapist, but there were also a number of filmmakers who tackled tough social issues. In the late 1950s, Bollywood released its first color films; however, the majority of films continued to be black-and-white until the mid-1960s. At this time, lavish romantic musicals and melodramas were the staple fare at the cinema.

The 2000s meant amazing growth in Bollywood's popularity in the world. This led the filmmaking to new heights in terms of quality, cinematography and innovative story lines as well as technical quality advances. Some of the largest production houses, among them Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions were the producers of new modern films.

The opening up of the overseas market, the more Bollywood releases abroad and the explosion of multiplexes in big cities, led to wider box office successes in India and abroad particularly in Middle East, Europe, United States and Canada.