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Profiles

  • Ashok Kumar (1911 - 2001)
    Ashok Kumar (Bengali: অশোক কুমার) was an Indian film actor. Born Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguly (Bengali: কুমুদলাল কুঞ্জিলাল গাঙ্গুলি) in Bhagalpur, Bengal Presidency he attained iconic status in Indian cin...
  • Raj Kapoor (1924 - 1988)
    He was also known as the show-man, was an Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi films.He was the winner of nine Filmfare Awards, while his films Awaara (1951) and Boot Polish (1954) were no...
  • Madhubala (Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi)/ Mumtaz Yusufzai (c.1933 - c.1969)
    Madhubala has become an icon, she is celebrated as the single most beautiful actress Hindi cinema has ever produced. In an industry seeped in melodrama and grand histrionics such a title does not come ...
  • Anoop Kumar Ganguly (c.1930 - c.1998)
    Anoop Kumar was born in into a Hindu family in Khandwa, Central Provinces and Berar (now in Madhya Pradesh). His father Kunjalal Ganguly (Gangopadhya) was a lawyer and his mother Gouri Devi came from a...
  • Prithviraj Raj Kapoor (c.1906 - c.1972)

This project is for modern day Indian actors who star in what is known as "Masala Movies" and not such much the legendary actors from yesteryear (unless they are still acting in films today).

Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes several regional film industries sorted by language. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centers of film production in the world.

Bollywood is formally referred to as Hindi cinema, though frequent use of poetic Urdu words is fairly common. There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It is common to see films that feature dialogue with English words phrases, or even whole sentence.

Influences for Bollywood

Gokulsing and Dissanayake identify 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 nrit (dance), characterizing them as specacular dance-dramas which has continued Indian cinema. The theory of rasa dating back to ancient Sanskrit drama is believed to be one of the most fundamental features that differentiate Indian cinema, particularly Hindi cinema, from that of the Western world.
  • 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.
  • The 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 humour, 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).