Bollywood Celebrates 100th Birthday With ‘Bombay Talkies’ & ‘Celluloid Man’

NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
May 3, 2013

On May 3, 1913, the first full-length Indian film, Raja Harischandra, was released. The Dadasahed Phalke-directed silent movie was a commercial success, kicking off an industry that now produces close to 1,500 movies a year and which is projected to be worth $3.6B within the next five years. Two films were released in India today to celebrate Bollywood’s 100th anniversary including Bombay Talkies, which I wrote about earlier this week. The quartet of short stories, each made for about $280,000 by Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap features Bollywood giant Amitabh Bachchan. But, it has caught some flack over leaving icons like Salman Khan out. (The trailer and theme song are here.) Bachchan will be in Cannes later this month in support of The Great Gatsby and also as part of a Bombay Talkies gala screening.

The other movie released today to mark the anniversary is Celluloid Man. The documentary, which has screened at myriad festivals, is a tribute to the founder of the country’s National Film Archive, P.K. Nair. Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s black-and-white pic highlights Nair’s dedication to film preservation including several movies that date from the silent era. Here’s a trailer:

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