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Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour. William Cowper

 Is Bollywood overshadowing the regional cinema…thats what many of us are pondering over at the Blogathon.

The 2008 FICCI – PWC study on Entertainment & Media estimates the entire film industry at $96 billion in 2007, at a growth rate of 14%. ( Read full report here ). The change is palpable. Not only in terms of revenue, but in the variety of revenue streams, the way “Film Marketing” has emerged as the next big thing, how films get launched internationally, and of course, with the corporatization and phenomenal growth in multiplexes, its no wonder that there are multi-crore multi-film deals with all major ( and many minor) stars as well.

 Yes, and the lines are quite blurring between the silos of ‘bollywood’ movies and “regional” movies to a large extent. Take the case of Priyadarshan ( director of Malayalam movies ), where he has turned his successful 10 year old Malayalam movies into Hindi flicks which seemed to have revived the genre of comedy ! Then there are the remakes like Ghajini, which seem to get bigger and better when brought to Bollywood. Take the case of Hindi actors doing Bhojpuri movies. So, in practical terms, I doubt it whether the film industry as such is too worried about exchange of talent and ideas within their regional paradigms.

However, the question still remains whether Bollywood overshadows regional movies ? This may have been a glaring fact atleast a decade back. But the past 4-5 years, I think has shrunk the differences. Regional movie stars are as much recognised as the superstars of Bollywood. Regional movies are also getting bigger and better, what with Rajnikanth’s Sultan taking the cake away. Maybe where the regional movies still lag behind, is the international launch and fan-following that the UK & US audience have for Bollywood movies. But I suspect, this is more due to the fact that the regional producers may not be bringing their movies to the international audiences, rather than an apathy from the film-viewers abroad.

The future, I think will equate any more differences between the regional movie genre and bollywood, simply because the number of corporates entering the business would see business sense in catering to the regional tastes and of course, would want to cash in on the pot of money waiting for them there 🙂

Well, the industry’s just shaping up, and it will be interesting to watch the dynamics.



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